Manchester City and RB Leipzig have agreed a deal of 90 million euros (£77 million) for Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol.
The fee for the 21-year-old does not include any add-ons, therefore Manchester United’s £80 million fee for Harry Maguire from Leicester City in 2019 remains the British record for a defender.
In the 87 games he has appeared for Leipzig since joining Dynamo Zagreb in 2021, he has been a crucial player.
Later this week, he is set to go to England for a physical.
The transaction appeared unlikely to go through after Leipzig stated last week that they would not sell for less than €100 million (£86 million).
Manager Pep Guardiola feels Gvardiol will bolster the left side of his central defence, which is also Ruben Dias’ position, and his arrival may cast doubt on Aymeric Laporte’s future at Etihad Stadium.
Gvardiol is City’s second significant summer acquisition, after the arrival of fellow Croatian Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea in June for an initial fee of £25 million. Kovacic will effectively replace Ilkay Gundogan in City’s midfield after the club’s captain left on a free transfer to join Barcelona, while winger Riyad Mahrez joined Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahli last week in a £30 million deal.
Gvardiol, who has two goals in 21 Croatian games, helped his side finish third in the 2022 Qatar World Cup and second to Spain in this year’s Nations League.
He also won back-to-back championships with Zagreb, finishing with a league and cup double before joining the Bundesliga.
During Gvardiol’s stay in Germany, Leipzig qualified for the Champions League twice, finishing fourth and third in the Bundesliga.
His former team has basically knocked him out of the Champions League twice in the last two seasons.
In 2021-22, Leipzig finished third in a group dominated by City and lost 8-1 over two legs in the round of 16 last season, including a 7-0 defeat at the Etihad.
Maybe he wants an autograph – Asamoah Gyan hits back at NDC MP
Asamoah Gyan, former Black Stars captain, has replied to charges made by Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, that he purposely missed a penalty during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
He claimed that Gyan’s vital miss in the quarter-final match against Uruguay, which would have made Ghana the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals, was politically motivated.
Speaking to Radio XYZ, Mr Dafeamekpor said that the former Black Stars captain was a longtime follower of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who did not desire glory for their opponents.
In reaction, Asamoah Gyan stated that the NDC MP is only seeking attention for his autograph.
“Maybe he wants an autograph. Do not worry. “I will sign one for him soon,” the former Sunderland attacker joked on X (previously Twitter).
The former Black Stars captain has faced a storm of criticism after being selected to the NPP manifesto committee.
The 38-year-old will lead the party’s Youth and Sports subcommittee, reporting to Vice President and NPP flagbearer Dr Bawumia.
Despite the attacks, Asamoah Gyan says he is motivated and ready to give his share to country building.
As Africa’s leading World Cup scorer with six goals, he is determined to use his knowledge to restore Ghanaian football.
Jose Peseiro has resigned as Nigeria’s head coach
José Peseiro, the head coach of Nigeria’s national side, the Super Eagles, has stepped down after his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation expired.
In a statement posted on X, the Portuguese coach acknowledged his thanks for the chance, saying, “We completed our deal with the NFF yesterday. It was an honour and privilege to coach the Super Eagles. It’s been 22 months of incredible devotion, sacrifice, emotion, and enthusiasm. We feel fulfilled.”
Peseiro’s original contract with the NFF expired shortly before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.
He agreed to an extension till the end of the tournament after lowering his compensation from $70,000 to $50,000.
Despite guiding Nigeria to the AFCON final, which they lost 2-1 to host country Ivory Coast, both sides chose to separate ways.
Peseiro congratulated the NFF and those who helped make his term unforgettable, including Sir Amaju Pinnick, President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, and all of the staff and players.
“We would like to express our gratitude to Sir Amaju Pinnick (the president who signed us), President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, the NFF, all the Staff, and especially all the PLAYERS, with whom leading has been a great pleasure.
“Guys, we are thankful; it has been a privilege to be part of this family. We will miss you, but we will always be there for you, no matter where you are. A big hug to all of you.”
NDC MP claims Asamoah Gyan deliberately missed 2010 World Cup penalty
Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, a Member of Parliament for South Dayi, has accused Asamoah Gyan of purposefully missing a critical penalty in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinal against Uruguay.
The Black Stars had a chance to move to the semi-finals in their second World Cup participation, with the score locked at 1-1.
However, Gyan’s penalty hit the crossbar, resulting in Ghana’s defeat in the subsequent penalty shootout.
Mr Dafeamekpor, a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), indicated that Gyan’s alleged purposeful miss was motivated by his political affiliation with the New Patriotic Party.
Speaking to Radio XYZ, Dafeamekpor stated, “I feel Asamoah Gyan purposefully wasted that penalty since it was during the NDC’s regime. It is now evident to me that he missed the penalty in the 2010 World Cup and the African Cup on purpose so that the NDC administration would not earn recognition.”
He went on to say, “Asamoah Gyan has joined the Bawumia campaign team. That’s an important problem because when a public figure turns politicised, I can confidently claim it was for political reasons that he missed the penalty, guaranteeing the NDC administration did not earn credit. It’s very disturbing.”
Mr. Dafeamekpor’s statements come after Gyan was recently selected to the New Patriotic Party’s 2024 manifesto committee.
These statements have reinforced continued allegations of Gyan’s impartiality since joining Dr Bawumia’s campaign team.
Despite the controversy, Gyan has an amazing record, including being Africa’s all-time highest scorer at the World Cup with six goals and the Black Stars’ all-time leading scorer with 51.
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