Josko Gvardiol is going to join Manchester City’s roster soon, and his transfer fee makes him among the most expensive signings.

Long-running drama surrounded the Croatian defender and the reigning English and European champions. His outstanding play in the World Cup in Qatar garnered him attention from a number of top clubs in Europe.

There is no secret that Manchester City has been interested in signing Gvardiol. The deal neared completion on several occasions. However, it seems that Pep Guardiola’s side had run into trouble in their discussions with RB Leipzig.

Gvardiol is the most expensive defender ever

According to the respectable German tabloid Bild, the two clubs have reached an agreement on a transfer price of $98 million, which is $11 million less than the original demand of $109 million. It has also been confirmed by BBC journalist, Mike Milnay.

Based solely on cost, this makes Gvardiol the most expensive defender of all time. He tops Manchester United’s record payment of $95.7 million. Adjusted for inflation, though, Maguire remains the most expensive purchase for a defender. The others in the top five most expensive defenders are Matthijs de Ligt ($94.1 million), Virgil van Dijk ($93.1 million) and Wesley Fofana ($90.8 million).

Even though City has a large roster, Pep Guardiola is reportedly willing to promise Gvardiol a starting spot once he moves there. Mike Milnay adds that City sees him as a smart investment.

Guardiola to add another Croatian to City

The 21-year-old’s physical examination is at the end of the week. Therefore, City hopes to make the move official before the weekend. Or, it could be after Sunday’s Community Shield match against Arsenal.

Mateo Kovacic, a fellow Croatian international, just moved to City for $32 million from Chelsea. Since Pep Guardiola has stopped relying on offensive fullbacks, Gvardiol should be a natural in his defense. The Spanish coach has moved center defenders to the wings where they have excelled. This applies to the likes of Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji and John Stones.