Josko Gvardiol has left the door open to a future transfer to Chelsea, admitting he 'may play there one day'.
90min understands that Chelsea remain in negotiations with Gvardiol's club, RB Leipzig, are are optimistic of their chances of striking a deal to bring the centre-back to Stamford Bridge alongside teammate Christopher Nkunku, whose move to London is close to being finalised.
Speaking after steering Croatia through to the World Cup knockout stages at Belgium's expense, Gvardiol admitted he liked the idea of teaming up with international teammate Mateo Kovacic at Chelsea.
“About me and Chelsea? I don’t know. You know what happened in the last few months. To be honest, I have no idea," he told The Athletic.
“My agent is taking care of this and we will see. Right now, I’m happy in Leipzig. I don’t know, we will see - you never know. You know the stories and these things, but all I can say is that I’m happy in Leipzig and right now I’m going to stay there and perform for them.”
Gvardiol added: “It’s a big club of course and, who knows, maybe one day I will be there. It’s really nice to see things like this, especially because there is Kovacic, so you never know. I talk with him.
“Even to be here on this, the biggest event, it’s a big thing for me at 20 years old so I’m happy. I have to think about it.”
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Chelsea have indicated a willingness to exceed Gvardiol's release clause - £45m, which will become active in the summer - to allow them to spread the payment out over a number of years and free up funds to pursue other targets, including Nkunku.
Nkunku is expected to join Chelsea at the end of the season, with only the finer details of his transfer left to finalise.