The €70m man: Rodri linked with mega money transfer to Manchester City & Bayern

This could be one of the summers biggest deals

This transfer window is on course to break all kinds of records, with a number of Europe's biggest clubs in desperate need of new recruits.

The likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City are all expected to be opening their chequebooks and making some significant investmenst, so despite the action ending on the pitch, events off it should build the excitement nicely for the new campaign.

One man who looks likely to be on the move for a massive fee is Atletico Madrid man Rodri. The Spain international has flourished under Diego Simeone this season into one of the most efficient and effective defensive midfielders in European football, which means he's going to take some prizing away from the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico have already lost a couple of first team stars in Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez, whilst Thomas Partey continues to linked with a move and there's of course the case of Antoine Griezmann, who's handed in a transfer request. The World Cup winner is expected to move to Barcelona for over £100m so Los Rojiblancos aren't exactly going to be short on cash this window.

But in the case of Rodri, Atleti don't want to sell and they don't need to. But there's a major stumbling block in his contract which comes in the form of his mega €70m release clause, which both Manchester City and Bayern Munich are reportedly willing to pay up.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has been in the market for Fernandinho's long term replacement for over 12 months now, is Rodri the man to take over the reigns from the Brazilian?

It's a lot of money but it shows the faith that each club have in his ability and a transfer would represent a monster profit for his current employers, who forked out €20m for him just 12 months ago.

Fans of the Premier League may be unfamiliar with Rodri, but he really is an excellent player. The 22 year-old has quietly gone about his business since rising to prominence with Villarreal then Atleti over the last few seasons but he has the quality to really go on and succeed at the highest level. But is he worth that massive transfer fee? We've taken a look at what he could potentially bring to Pep's Manchester City...

The long term Fernandinho solution?

Since he moved to England back in 2013, Fernandinho has established himself as one of the finest defensive midfielders in the world. He arrived in the Premier League virtually unknown after his time in Shakhtar Donetsk, but at the Etihad Stadium he's taken his game to new levels - especially since the arrival of Pep Guardiola.

The importance of Fernandinho's role in this dominant Manchester City side cannot be underestimated. As the only natural sitter in midfield he has an enormous amount of responsibility on his shoulders to ensure that the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva can get forward and support the attackers, a role that he does at an elite level.

But at the age of 34 he isn't getting any younger and Pep has the unenviable task of finding a long term replacement for him, with Rodri identified as that man. To play in Guardiola's City you have to be of the highest quality, so if he's willing to pay €70m and break the clubs transfer record then he obviously holds you in extremely high regard.

At the age of 22, he provides youth, room to grow and potentially over a decade of service to the club so it's easy to see why Pep is so interested in signing him. And there are some obvious similarities between him and Fernandinho, so should he arrive at the Etihad Stadium the Brazilian would be the perfect mentor to help him settle in and adapt to his new surroundings.

Diego Simeone Atletico Madrid
Rodri has enhanced his defensive side of the game from arguably the best in the business in Diego Simeone, with Atletico keeping the most clean sheets and conceding the least goals once again in La Liga

You have to be so disciplined to be the pivot in City's midfield and Rodri has proven this season at the Wanda Metropolitano that he's capable of doing it. He's made more La Liga appearances than any other Atleti midfielder (34) which shows the level of trust that Diego Simeone has in him.

The Argentine is known for making his sides defensively robust and he's been the perfect mentor to help him improve on that side of his game with him averaging more tackles per game than any of this teammates (3) along with 2.3 aerial duels per game, so imagine where he could go under Pep.

More than just a ball winner

His defensive attributes and statistics are clearly a major factor in Pep's thinking when it comes to identifying Rodri as a potential Fernandinho replacement, but it's what he does with the ball at his feet that makes him so special, along with driving the price up.

He has the ability to pop up with the odd goal (3) but it's his range of passing that makes impressive reading. Just like Fernandinho, his technical attributes are fantastic which is reflected in his pass completion rate of 91.1% - incredible numbers when you consider that he's made 34 appearances in La Liga this season.

With figures like that he appears to be the perfect link between defence and attack, so with the coaching and guidance from Pep, his team and of course Fernandinho, there's no reason why he can't go on and be a success like many who've made the move in recent seasons. We've seen the likes of Leroy Sane, Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva, players who weren't necessarily big stars when they arrived in Manchester, go onto flourish into some of Europe's finest young talents.

Bernardo Silva Pep Guardiola
The coaching from Pep and his team have seen several City players take their game to dizzying new heights - Rodri could well be the next to do so

With all the ability he has and being just 22 years-old, we think he's certainly worth the gamble at €70m. He's learned all about the gritty, defensive side of the game from Diego Simeone. Now it's time to go to the next level under Pep in the Premier League.

Recruiting a new anchorman has been top of his shopping list for the last couple of seasons, with him missing out on Jorginho to Chelsea last summer. So if Guardiola does opt to sign the Spaniard, it shows the tremendous amount of faith he has in his ability. This is certainly a deal to look out for and it could prove to be a fantastic one for the Blues should they get it over the line.


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