Rodrigo Hernandez

Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Report: Guardiola luring $78M Rodri from Atletico Madrid

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Pep Guardiola laughed off speculation that Manchester City would step in front of Barcelona to buy Antoine Griezmann, but the Premier League champions may have another Atletico Madrid man in mind.

According to Spanish outlet AS, Guardiola has already approached Atleti midfielder Rodrigo “Rodri” Hernandez about making the move to Manchester. The 22-year-old center mid could be a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.

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He’d also cost around $78 million via release clause, so the price is set if Guardiola can convince Rodri to come to England. From AS.com:

Having spoken to Rodri to outline his plans for him and the team, City coach Pep Guardiola has been key to selling the club to the player. Indeed, working with Guardiola is a major lure for the ex-Villarreal man: he feels Pep’s footballing philosophy fits his playing style better than Atlético boss Diego Simeone’s.

Simeone is said by AS to view Rodri as good but not irreplaceable. Removing goal scorers and playmakers, he was the highest-ranked player in La Liga last season according to advanced stats site WhoScored.