Manchester City are ready to break their transfer record to sign Rodri, the highly-rated young Spain midfielder, from Atletico Madrid as Fernandinho’s long-term replacement.
Atletico are unwilling to allow Rodri to leave for less than his 70 million euros (£60.6 million) release clause, which means City will have to narrowly eclipse their current record £60 million outlay on Riyad Mahrez to land the 22-year-old.
City’s scouts and director of football, Txiki Begiristain, have watched Rodri extensively and have been busy laying the groundwork for a move in the hope of securing a deal before pre-season starts in early July. City have also closely followed the progress of Lyon’s France midfielder, Tanguy Ndombele, but Rodri - regarded as very intelligent on and off the field - remains the priority.
Pep Guardiola, the City manager, was left deeply frustrated at missing out to Barcelona for Ajax midfielder, Frenkie de Jong, whom it was announced in January will leave the Dutch club for the Spanish champions for £65 million this summer.