Report: Chelsea set sights on 'extraordinary' 20-year-old star, played in same academy as Kovacic

Chelsea are reportedly eyeing RB Leipzig youngster Josko Gvardiol as a transfer target ahead of the summer window.

According to Goal, the 20-year-old defender’s viewed as a potential replacement at Stamford Bridge for Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

It is understood that Gvardiol is on the Blues radar due to his eye-catching performances this season for Leipzig, who sit fifth in the German Bundesliga.

The report adds Chelsea scouts have actually been watching the centre-back since a first-team breakthrough at Dinamo Zagreb.

Gvardiol came through the youth system at Dinamo, which is the same academy that Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic developed in earlier in his career. In fact, the duo are now teammates on the international stage for Croatia.

The Leipzig talent is a left-footed centre-half that could slot into Thomas Tuchel’s system as part of the back three.

Described as “extraordinary” by Ivica Olic in the past, he’s a rising star with immense potential.

Photo by Alex Gottschalk/vi/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Chelsea defence

It feels like it’s time for some fresh blood at the back for Chelsea looking ahead to next season.

Key Blues defender Rudiger is leaving at the end of the campaign. Meanwhile, Christensen could reportedly be on his way to Barcelona this summer.

The fact that Gvardiol can play on the left of the back three means he could be a like-for-like replacement for Rudiger, but that would bring immense pressure on his shoulders if he joined Chelsea.

It’s been a seamless transition this year during his first season in German football with Leipzig. However, coping with another swap to the Premier League would be another colossal challenge for someone his age.

Tuchel will know it’s absolutely vital he builds the new-look defence correctly to try maintain standards.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.