THE LOWDOWN: Man City Linked to Atletico Madrid’s Rodri, What Can He Bring To The Champions
Manchester City are certainly not hiding their interest for Rodri, the 22-year-old midfielder from Atletico Madrid.
Seen as a direct replacement for Fernandinho, the Spaniard will be a regular starter at City next season if he can make the move from Spain to England.
At 33, Brazilian Fernandinho is on the wrong side of the hill so to speak and on occasions during the Blues treble-winning season, the absence in defensive midfield was key as Man City were found wanting on the counter-attack.
Pep Guardiola looks to have found a way around the problem when Fernandinho is absent, playing Ilkay Gundogan in this vital role. Yet the Catalan will want more cover and most importantly, a player with a more defensive mindset.
Though Rodri looks to fit the bill, his strength’s lie in your usual defensive midfield role. Very good in the tackle, blocking the ball and his aerial presence is an added bonus. Alongside his high concentration levels and solid passing game, the Spanish International seems like he would seamlessly fit in the team.
However, Atletico Madrid will want more than just 65 million from Man City. The Spaniards also want Gabriel Jesus in return as they look for a long-term replacement to the departing Antoine Griezmann, who looks likely to complete a 100 million-plus deal across Spain, with Barcelona the likely destination.
Disappointed with his lack of starts, striker Jesus would most likely leave the Premier League to guarantee regular appearances. However, the thought of departing the Champions could be slim, most likely due to the fact he knows his direct competitor in the starting 11, Sergio Aguero, is 31 this June.
Like Rodri, the 22-year-old Brazilian is seen as a Man City man for the next decade at least, especially with the form his side have shown in the past two seasons.
Whether he gives into just substitute appearances by Guardiola could see the arrival of Rodri. The question this swap will come down to whether Jesus fancies 90-minute football every game, and, would City really let a player of his ability go?
Man City fans what do you think?