Transfer news: Manchester City activate Rodri’s €70m release clause

Atletico Madrid have confirmed that the Premier League champions have made a move for the midfielder

Atletico Madrid have released a statement confirming that Manchester City have activated Rodri’s €70 million (£63m/$79m) release clause.

The 23-year-old has long been identified as the player Pep Guardiola wanted as City looked to bring in a deep-lying midfielder during the summer transfer window.

And it would seem they’ve finally been able to get their man, with Atleti confirming that the Premier League champions have triggered the former Villarreal star’s buyout clause.

A statement read: “The representative of the player and representatives of the English club appeared at La Liga headquarters to exercise the rescission clause.

“Manchester City has deposited the amount of the termination clause on behalf of the player.

“In this way, the player has unilaterally terminated the employment contract that bound him to our club until June 30, 2023.”

The deal is expected to be completed in the next few days, with Rodri reportedly seen as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, who is now 34.

And though he only has six caps to his name, he is also viewed in some quarters as the ideal successor to Sergio Busquets in the Spanish national side.

The Madrid-born star became a crucial cog in Atletico’s engine room following his £22m move from Villarreal in May 2018.

In total he made 47 appearances for Los Rojiblancos in all competitions during the 2018-19 campaign, scoring three times. He also lifted the UEFA Super Cup during his brief stay in the Spanish capital.

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City boss Guardiola has been searching for a potential replacement for Fernandinho for some time, and missed out on landing the likes of Fred – who switched to neighbours Manchester United – as well as Chelsea’s Jorginho and Barcelona new boy Frenkie de Jong.

Rodri, however, could yet play as understudy to the Brazilian during the upcoming season, and a new one-year deal is not out of the question for the veteran holding midfielder should he produce the goods once more during 2019-20.

The fee will see Rodri become City’s most expensive signing of all time if they complete a deal, with the figure in excess of the £60m they paid Leicester City for Riyad Mahrez some 12 months ago.

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