Manchester City complete club record deal for Rodri

Defensive midfielder joins from Atlético Madrid as first signing of the summer

Manchester City announced the signing of Spain midfielder Rodri on a five-year deal from Atletico Madrid. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images

Manchester City announced the signing of Spain midfielder Rodri on a five-year deal from Atletico Madrid. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images

 

Rodri has signed for Manchester City from Atlético Madrid in a club-record €70m transfer, eclipsing the €67 paid to Leicester City for Riyad Mahrez last summer.

The 23-year-old defensive midfielder has signed a five-year deal after Atlético announced that the Premier League champions had met the Spain international’s €70m release clause. He is Pep Guardiola’s first acquisition of the window.

“What City have achieved in the last two years has been amazing and I’m looking forward to being part of such a talented squad,” Rodri said. “It’s not just the titles they have won, but the way they have managed it, playing attacking football at all times. It’s a style that excites me, as do the club’s ambitions.”

Txiki Begiristain, Manchester City’s director of football added: ““He works hard defensively, makes himself available to receive the ball and uses it well when in possession. He is a perfect fit for Pep Guardiola’s team and we are confident he will be a success.”

Atlético confirmed that representatives from the Premier League side and the player paid the buyout fee at La Liga’s headquarters on Wednesday.

Atlético’s statement said: “La Liga has informed Atlético de Madrid that Rodrigo Hernández, through his lawyer, and representatives from Manchester City, paid the player’s release clause at the sports association’s headquarters on Wednesday July 3. Manchester City has paid the buyout clause on behalf of the player. The player has therefore unilaterally terminated his contract with our club, which ran until June 30 2023.”

Rodri was re-signed by Atlético from Villarreal last summer having spent several years in the academy. He has made six appearances for Spain and represented his country at a number of age-group levels.

Rodri’s arrival at City as the successor to Fernandinho as the holding player means Guardiola can focus on landing the second of his two major transfer targets. The manager also wants a centre-back following Vincent Kompany’s departure.

Guardiola’s first choice is Harry Maguire but Leicester’s valuation of the 26-year-old – thought to be around £80m – is not matched by City. Manchester United have made a £70m offer for the England international.

City’s manager believes Eric García, an 18-year-old central defender, has the potential to establish himself in the first team, having joined from Barcelona two years ago. García made his City debut in December and got two further appearances last season but is yet to feature in the Premier League, so Guardiola is intent on acquiring an established player in the position.

Guardiola is likely to move to strengthen other areas only if a player demands to leave.

The right-back Danilo may do so, because he is second choice behind Kyle Walker. Should the Brazilian ask for a transfer, Juventus’s João Cancelo would be assessed as a possible replacement.

Angeliño, a 22-year-old left-back, has re-signed for City from PSV Eindhoven, the Spaniard having joined the Dutch club last summer. His arrival may provide competition to Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Leicester snap up Ayoze Perez

Meanwhile, Leicester have completed the €33 million signing of Ayoze Perez from Newcastle.

The forward has penned a four-year contract at the King Power Stadium to become Brendan Rodgers’ second summer capture.

Rodgers had been looking for a versatile forward and PA understands the Foxes triggered Perez’s release clause.

Perez told LCFC TV: “I’m very happy and very pleased. I’m very proud to be part of the Leicester family and I can’t wait to get started.

“The club want to keep growing as much as they can and that’s something I like.

“I spoke with the manager and that was important. That made me feel very comfortable about the decision to come here.”

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