LONDON (AFP) – Premier League champions Manchester City yesterday announced the signing of Spanish international midfielder Rodri on a five-year deal from Atletico Madrid for a club record fee.
Rodri, 23, officially became a City player a day after the La Liga club revealed the 70-million-euro release clause in his contract had been triggered.
“Manchester City are delighted to announce the signing of Spanish midfielder Rodri,” said a statement on the club’s website.
The value of the release clause eclipses the reported GBP60 million City paid Leicester for Algeria international Riyad Mahrez last year.
Rodri said, “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.
“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.”
Rodri’s departure will secure a considerable profit for Atletico, who spent around EUR20 million last summer to re-sign the Spaniard from Villarreal afer releasing him from their youth ranks.
He made 47 appearances for Atletico, scoring three goals, as Diego Simeone’s men finished above Real Madrid in second in La Liga and won the UEFA Super Cup.
In the Spaniard, City have finally landed their long-term replacement for the influential Fernandinho.
The Brazilian has been a key member of the squad that has won back-to-back Premier League titles under Pep Guardiola.
However, he is now 34 and struggled with injuries towards the end of last season.
Rodri’s composed style on the ball at the base of the midfield has earned comparisons to Barcelona and Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets, who was handed his debut at the Catalan giants by Guardiola.
“Rodri has proven himself to be a hugely talented, young midfielder, who has all the attributes we are looking for,” said City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain.
“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.”
Rodri is City’s second signing in two days after activating a buy-back clause of GBP5.3 million to re-sign Spanish left-back Angelino from PSV Eindhoven.