Liverpool have held a vested interest in RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol for many months now, with recent reports indicating that avenue is still very much alive...

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What's the latest on Josko Gvardiol to Liverpool?

According to Ryan Taylor of the Express, the Croatian defender could find himself at the centre of a lucrative transfer saga this summer, with manager Jurgen Klopp mindful that more than just the midfield requires tinkering.

Gvardiol holds a release clause of €110m (£95m) and is contracted with his German Bundesliga outfit until 2027, which no doubt makes negotiations more strenuous, but Liverpool have spent big on a centre-back before, signing Virgil van Dijk for £75m, and that has paid off handsomely.

With further interest from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid, a move is deemed 'unlikely', but Klopp must swoop soon and secure one of football's most promising talents.

Should Liverpool sign Josko Gvardiol?

Gvardiol's signature at Anfield would certainly not come cheap, but after a wayward campaign that has left Liverpool with just an infinitesimal chance of securing top four as the league season approaches its culminating match-week, reinforcements are necessary.

Liverpool have improved. A seven-match winning run was ended by free-flowing Aston Villa on Saturday, who left Anfield with a point and perhaps even begrudgingly after a stellar showing, but even this luminous purple patch has failed to bridge the gap between the top four and Klopp's Reds.

Dubbed a "Rolls-Royce" by journalist Zach Lowy, the 22-year-old ranks among the top 10% of centre-backs across Europe's top five leagues over the past year for rate of goals, the top 17% for shot-creating actions, the top 1% for passes attempted, the top 16% for progressive passes, the top 18% for progressive carries and the top 4% for successful take-ons, with statistics courtesy of FBref.

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The World Cup star, hailed a "warrior" by one journalist, should his prospective acquisition be deemed financially viable, would bring an innate ball-playing aptitude and tenacity in the tackle, regarded as the 'perfect modern defender' for his dynamism and robustness; Gvardiol really does have the template to slot into any team in world football.

He would be the dream heir to Joel Matip's throne, with Liverpool perhaps replicating the success in delving into the Bundesliga, signing the Cameroonian colossus from Schalke on a free transfer in 2016.

Matip, while seemingly at the end of his most potent phase on Merseyside, has played instrumental roles in gleaning the whole gamut of silverware under Klopp's wing, playing 186 times.

As per FBref, Matip ranks among the top 3% of positional peers for rate of goals, the top 6% for shot-creating actions, the top 9% for progressive passes and the top 1% for progressive carries per 90, indeed bearing a striking resemblance to his Croatian counterpart.

In the "fearless" Gvardiol, however, as he was dubbed by Rio Ferdinand, Klopp would have a worthy defensive successor and a key component to slot into the fold and blossom into one of the great modern centre-backs, leaving glinted success in his wake.