The perfectly timed Summer signing announcement! After months of speculation, Manchester City have finally broken their transfer record.
Manchester City have announced the Club record purchase of Rodri from Atletico Madrid for a sum of £70 million, eclipsing the £60 million paid to Leicester for Riyad Mahrez last Summer. Rodri joins on a 5 year deal.
In a delightful added level of enjoyment for City fans – we beat Bayern Munich to his signature. So expect myriad German press stories about how they cannot compete with our money!
Rodri – or to give him his full name of Rodrigo Hernandez Cascante has had an excellent season at Atletico to earn this move. At just 23 years of age he has shown all the hallmarks of a player with significant long term potential.
Last Summer Rodri joined Atletico from Villareal for a sum of £20 million – so his rise has been stellar. He is a player who can be shaped into the role by the coaching of Guardiola after the progress he has shown under Simeone.
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Manchester City have been searching long and hard for a new defensive midfielder to replace Fernandinho, who at 34 years of age is now entering the final year of his contract. This search for a suitable player, capable of carrying the weight of expectation for this high performing Pep Guardiola team, has been arduous.
Over the last 12 months alone, City scouts have watched in detail a number of players including the Spurs signing unveiled yesterday – Tanguy Ndombele. The role of pivot in our high pressing team is critical and our search has been careful, as we have reviewed and dismissed a range of key targets.
To the non Guardiola trained eye – Ndombele seemed to represent an ideal replacement but our gaze turned elsewhere. Just 12 months ago City thought they had a new defensive midfielder, but in a slight of hand Jorginho slipped through their grasp and joined Chelsea, a club he may well now be marooned at without the influence of his mentor – Sarri.
So City turned their attentions elsewhere to a player referred to in the press as the new Sergio Busquets (I am not sure what is wrong with the “old” Sergio Busquets ). Anyway, one advantage of City being engaged in a long drawn out transfer saga is I have had time to watch copious amounts of Youtube highlights clips.
Consequently, Rodri to me seems more Jorginho than Busquets but let us see what coaching under Guardiola shapes.
The saga of the replacement defensive midfielder has now ended – which will allow Rodri to be used in rotation for this season with Fernandinho, aiding his settling into English football. Of course it may also allow Fernandinho to be deployed as centre back which may be useful given the departure of Kompany.
Today though is about Rodri. So let us welcome Rodri to Manchester City and hope he will have the chance to cement some further trophy wins during the course of the coming season.