Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Rodri tells Atletico Madrid he wants to leave as move to Manchester City edges closer

City reported to have activated 22-year-old Spain midfielder's €70 million (Dh288m) buyout clause

Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri, right, in action against Juventus during the 2018/19 Uefa Champions League group stages. Reuters 
Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri, right, in action against Juventus during the 2018/19 Uefa Champions League group stages. Reuters 

Manchester City look to have won the race to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri.

According to reports in Spain, Rodri told the Spanish club of his desire to leave on Tuesday with City and German champions Bayern Munich both vying for his signature.

City are reported to have activated the 22-year-old's €70 million (Dh288m) buyout clause, making the Spain international the club's second summer signing.

Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen will link up with Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions next month.

Should the transfer go through, it would net Atletico a huge profit on their £22.3 million investment to land Rodri from La Liga rivals Villarreal last summer.

His departure would see him follow five others out of the club already this summer. Defender Lucas Hernandez joined German champions Bayern Munich, Luciano Vietto moved on to Sporting club of Lisbon and Bernard Mensah was sold to Kayserispor in Turkey. Defensive stalwarts Juanfran and Diego Godin were released after their contracts expired.

Diego Simeone must also figure out how best to replace star forward Antoine Griezmann after the French World Cup winner announced before the end of the season that he would be leaving the Wanda Metroplitano club.

At 1.91m Rodri is a physically imposing figure and would be expected to challenge Fernandinho for a place in City's first XI.

For all their world-class talent, the absence of the Brazilian holding midfielder is often keenly felt in the City ranks, with no like-for-like replacement available to Guardiola.

Should City win the race for his signature, Rodri would become the club's record signing, eclipsing the £60 million the club paid Leicester City last summer to sign Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez.

City, who swept all before them domestically last season to win the league, League Cup and FA Cup, as well as the Community Shield, begin their Premier League title defence on August 10 with a trip to West Ham United.

Updated: June 18, 2019 03:30 PM

SHARE

SHARE

Editor's Picks