Just days after Manchester United spent £50 million on Aaron Wan-Bissaka, it appears as though neighbours Manchester City are about to land their first multi-million-pound transfer target in Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri. Although not yet official, Atletico practically confirmed the deal after unveiling new signing Marcos Llorente in Rodri’s No. 14 shirt.
The 23-year-old Spain international has been Pep Guardiola’s preferred target from the get-go, battling Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for the signature of Rodri, with the Spaniard to be the eventual replacement of Fernandinho.
Lacking defensive midfield options, Guardiola has tried several options in Fernandinho’s position, including Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko, but with a No. 6 now on the way, Manchester City look impressive in midfield.
Fernandinho, Gundogan and Rodri complimented with Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden would make Manchester City odds on to retain their Premier League title once again.
Rodri is believed to join Manchester City for £62.5 million, his release clause, becoming Manchester City’s record signing ahead of the £60m City paid for Algerian Riyad Mahrez last summer.
Even at 23, Rodri has a tonne of experience under his belt. 97 combined La Liga appearances for Villarreal and Atletico as well as European football adds to his already impressive repertoire.
Once again, Manchester City and their recruitment team have shown ruthlessness in the transfer market. When they want a player, the chances are, they’ll sign him. Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte both springs to mind as shrewd signings.
Positions they needed to strengthen, swift negotiations and the player signed within weeks. Rodri is the latest example of Manchester City’s impressive recruitment process while perhaps others, such as Bayern Munich, could look at Guardiola’s City as a case study if they want to challenge for the Champions League.
And with Rodri to be made official imminently, per multiple reports, it’s likely they’ve already got their next targets lined up. The Premier League club have shown an interest in both Leicester City defender Harry Maguire and Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo, both of whom would add to an already impressive defence.
Guardiola’s Manchester City had the second-best defence in the Premier League last season, conceding one more than Liverpool’s 22 while they boasted the best attack with 95 goals. A goal difference of plus 72 would have certainly played its role as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool finished just one point behind City in the 2018/19 season.
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