Manchester City, Bayern Munich Target Rodri Announces Decision To Leave Atletico Madrid
After a month of laboring over his decision, Rodrigo Hernández Cascante —better known as Rodri — finally announced that he intends to leave Atletico Madrid this summer for one of Europe’s other top football clubs.
The Spanish international central midfielder joined the La Liga side just one season ago after playing three seasons for the Villareal senior team. Rodri made his way up the ladder as a young prospect playing in the Atletico Madrid youth academy from 2007-2013. Atletico decided though to release the 17-year-old due to a “lack of physical strength.” Rodri then joined the Villareal academy, where he eventually found himself as a regular with the senior team before being sold back to Atletico in 2018 for 20 million euros ($22.4 million)
Bayern Munich has made a concerted play for the signature of Rodrigo Hernandez and were considered the main rivals to City.
However, Rodri has informed Atletico Madrid President Angel Gil Marin that he would prefer to link up with Pep Guardiola.
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) June 18, 2019
In 47 appearances across all competition this season with Los Rojiblancos, Rodri finished with three goals and one assist. Rodri has particularly excelled as a defensive midfielder for Diego Simeone‘s side, so much in fact that the 22-year-old’s transfer value is now estimated at somewhere between 70 and 80 million euros ($78-89 million). Several of Europe’s top clubs including Manchester City, PSG, Manchester United and Bayern Munich have been watching Rodri closely, especially Manchester City, who continue to search for Fernandhino’s eventual successor.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 18, 2019
Of the teams in pursuit of Rodri, Manchester City and Bayern Munich are considered to be the two favorites to land the defensive midfielder, with City being in the pole position to secure his signature. Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola identified Rodri as City’s top transfer target back in April and has played an important role in attempting to secure Rodri’s signature. Guardiola sees Rodri as Manchester City’s version of Sergio Busquets and is desperate to secure him as Fernandhino’s successor.
Former Real Madrid defensive midfielder Luis Milla believes that Rodri would be a perfect match for Guardiola’s play-style, telling Goal that, “Rodri could fit perfectly at Manchester City because his coach [Simeone] has an Ajax and Barcelona style and looks for the same idea of play. Manchester City has a coach [Pep Guardiola] who was influenced at Barcelona. Rodri has the ability to play that way. We are talking about players with the capability of reading football quickly. They understand what to do in each moment, they are intelligent, they never lose their position, they play a positional game.”
Rodri's 2018/2019 La Liga season by numbers:
91% pass accuracy
3.4 long balls per game
3 tackles won per game
2.3 aerials won per game
1.3 fouls suffered per game
1.2 interceptions per game
Has Pep found his Fernandinho replacement? 🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/tLlG7jn12o
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) June 18, 2019