RB Leipzig have beaten a host of European clubs to the signing of 18-year-old centre-back Josko Gvardiol from Dinamo Zagreb on a five-year deal, effective from 1 July 2021.
Gvardiol, 18, had been linked with a host of top European clubs over the summer but has chosen to join Leipzig and play in the Bundesliga from the start of the 2021/22 season. He will remain in Zagreb for the rest of the current campaign.
The centre-back has burst out of the famed Dinamo academy in the last two years, becoming a first-team regular for the club over the last 12 months, and he will no doubt be hoping to have the same impact on Julian Nagelsmann's defence at Leipzig.
"In Josko Gvardiol, we've signed one of the best defensive talents in Europe," enthused Leipzig sporting director Markus Krösche. "As a left-footed defender, he makes us more versatile at the back. He's 18 years old, still a young player, but is very mature both as a person and a footballer. Josko can pick up more experience and football with Zagreb over the coming months before joining us in summer 2021. In line with our philosophies, we will then help him to grow as a player and develop."
Gvardiol will join the highly-rated French duo of Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate at Leipzig, and as a left-footed centre-back, could slot in alongside the talented pair to form a formidable three-man defence at the Red Bull Arena.
"I'm very happy to be able to make this step to RB Leipzig," Gvardiol said. "The club is among the best in Europe and has a very clear style of play. As a young player, it was important for me to come to a club that can help me take the next step in my career. That is exactly what RB Leipzig is all about. The club has shown several times how players can develop and improve here. I'm very grateful to Dinamo Zagreb for allowing me to take this next step. I will do everything I can to be as successful as possible with Dinamo up until my transfer to Leipzig."