Manchester City is undoubtedly one of the strongest footballing sides across all of Europe, but manager Pep Guardiola and co. are interested in strengthening their squad even further, due to a strong competition in the Premier League with Liverpool, Manchester united so on.
In addition, they are also keen to exercise their strength in the UEFA Champions League, having not yet won a single edition of Europe’s biggest football event.
With the above points in mind, Guardiola has identified the importance of a strong midfield which will need some youthful additions as successors to the aging Fernandinho, David Silva and so on. As a result, he also seems to have targeted Atletico Madrid’s Rodrigo Hernandez, as per reports in the ESPN and DailyMail.
ESPN reports that the City boss expects Rodrigo to be the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho, as the 22-year-old is the main holding midfielder at Atletico Madrid – a similar role to the Brazilian’s in City. Apparently, the Premier League giants have been scouting him since his days with Villarreal which began in 2015-16.
Rodrigo is also well-known for sparking a transfer race between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid last year, but it was the latter who succeeded in securing his services, for a sum of around €20m plus €5m in add-ons. He has made 39 appearances for Diego Simeone’s men since then.
DailyMail reports that the English club will look to trigger the Spanish youngster’s €70m release clause.
FOX Sports Asia probability ratings: 4/5; Manchester City would love a young midfielder to succeed Fernandinho, and that he comes at a relatively-cheap price of €70million, makes the move all the more possible. Atletico meanwhile, have already lost highly-rated Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich, and the future of Diego Godin, Saul and Antoine Griezmann looks uncertain. In these circumstances, it is to be understood that Rodrigo would also be keen to move to England.