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Man City make Rodri their record signing

LONDON • English Premier League champions Manchester City yesterday announced signing Spanish midfielder Rodri on a five-year deal from Atletico Madrid for a club-record fee.

Rodri, 23, officially became a City player a day after the LaLiga club revealed the €70 million (S$107 million) release clause in his contract had been triggered.

“Manchester City are delighted to announce the signing of Spanish midfielder Rodri,” said a statement on the club’s website.

Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football, added: “He works hard defensively, makes himself available to receive the ball and uses it well when in possession.

“He is a perfect fit for (manager) Pep Guardiola’s team and we are confident he will be a success.”

The value of the release clause eclipses the reported £60 million (S$102 million) City paid Leicester for Algeria international Riyad Mahrez last year.

Rodri said: “What City have achieved in the last two years has been amazing and I’m looking forward to being part of such a talented squad.

“It’s not just the titles they have won, but the way they have managed it, playing attacking football at all times. It’s a style that excites me, as do the club’s ambitions.”

Rodri has been capped six times for Spain and represented his country at a number of age-group levels. His composed style at the base of midfield has earned comparisons to Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, who was handed his debut by Guardiola.

His arrival at City as the successor to Fernandinho in a holding midfield role means Guardiola may turn to landing the second of his two major transfer targets.

The manager reportedly wants a centre-back following captain Vincent Kompany’s departure.


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