Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo has emerged as a transfer target for Manchester City, who hope to beat Barcelona to his signature.
The 22-year-old moved to Wanda Metropolitano from Villarreal last year and has enjoyed a superb debut season under Diego Simeone.
With 45 appearances under his belt across all competitions, the Spaniard has fully established himself as one of Atletico’s key performers, helping them to secure a runners up spot in La Liga behind Barcelona.
According to Cadena Ser, Rodrigo – better known as ‘Rodri’ – is being linked with a Camp Nou switch, but Manchester City are aiming to see off competition from a European rival to secure his services.
Bayern Munich are also reportedly keeping tabs on the Spain international, who has a €70 million release clause in his current contract – as per Marca.
It is understood that Rodri is happy with Atletico, but the club will have to consider letting him leave the club this summer if his buy-out clause is triggered by any potential suitors.
City boss Pep Guardiola is on the lookout for a new holding midfielder, with first choice star Fernandinho approaching the twilight years of his career at 33.
Rodri has all the attributes to succeed the Brazilian at Etihad Stadium and given his age, there is every chance he will enhance his reputation even further in the coming years.
It seems unlikely that Atletico would want to sell a prized asset to a direct rival in Barcelona, but a switch to City could be in the best interests of both clubs.
Any funds raised by the sale of Rodri could be used to bring in new players at Wanda Metropolitano, while the Premier League champions would gain a proven performer capable of adding a new dimension to their current squad.
No formal offers have been submitted yet, however, and the ex-Villarreal ace will remain a vital cog in Diego Simeone’s squad until the market reopens at the end of May.