Manchester City have reportedly agreed to pay the release clause in Rodri’s Atletico Madrid contract.
Several outlets say that City will pay the $73 million for the defensive midfielder, who is seen as the long-term replacement for Fernandinho in the heart of their midfield.
If the deal is completed, Rodri will be City’s new club-record signing.
Our partners at Sky Sports believe that City and Rodri are now set for talks over personal terms, and that the 22-year-old Spanish international is keen to move this summer with Bayern Munich also interested in him.
They also add that Rodri is City’s number one central midfield target for this summer, as he has turned down the chance to join Man United in favor of the back-to-back Premier League champions. A solid move on his part, many would say.
Atletico only signed Rodri from Villarreal last summer for $27.5 million and although Diego Simeone wanted to keep him, the midfielder has spent the past few weeks deliberating over his future and he’s decided to move on.
Is he the perfect fit for the ‘Fernandinho role’ at City? Absolutely.
Rodri has supreme ability on the ball and his passing prowess will see him slot into Pep Guardiola‘s side seamlessly. But coming from a team like Atletico Madrid, where Simeone demands defensive nous, determination and focus, proves that he is the perfect replacement for Fernandinho.
Last season in La Liga he had a 91.1 percent passing accuracy over 34 games, while he also made 103 tackles and 280 recoveries. The latter two numbers were significantly higher than Fernandinho at City, but of course, Atletico Madrid’s style of play is more combative and vastly different to Man City.
You don’t hold down a spot as Atletico’s holding midfielder if you can’t mix it up as well as stroke the ball around, and when you watch Rodri there are so many similarities to the way Sergio Busquets plays.
The arrival of Rodri would fill a long-term need for City, as they just haven’t been able to replace Fernandinho when he’s been out of the team. The Brazilian midfielder is now 34 years old and although he seems to be maturing like a fine French wine, he would acknowledge that his legendary six-year career at City is close to an end.
Rodri, if he does join City, is as close to a perfect replacement for Fernandinho as you can get.