MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City is set to complete the signing of holding midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid after paying the reported buy-out fee of 70 million euros ($79 million) for the Spain international.
Atletico says in a statement that Rodri has “unilaterally terminated the employment contract that bound him to” Atletico until June 2023.
The fee is close to the club-record fee of 60 million pounds (then $80 million) that City paid Leicester for winger Riyad Mahrez last offseason.
The 23-year-old Rodri is being viewed as the long-term replacement for Fernandinho, the midfield anchorman who has been one of City’s unsung stars in its Premier League-winning campaigns of the last two seasons.
It is City’s first foray into the transfer market this offseason, with manager Pep Guardiola also likely to sign a defender before the season begins in early August.