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Rodri tells Atletico Madrid he wants to join Man City

10:11 pm AEST 18/6/19
Rodri Atletico Madrid
The 22-year-old wants to play for Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium and has informed the Premier League champions he has chosen them

Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri has decided to leave the Spanish club and join Manchester City.

Rodri, 22, emerged as City's first choice midfield target long before the end of the 2018-19 season, with the English side even reaching a preliminary agreement over personal terms, putting them in a position to pay his €70 million (£63m/$78m) buy-out clause at the end of the campaign.

However, concerted attempts from Atletico to renew his contract and raise that buy-out clause threatened to scupper the transfer, with sources close to the player informing Goal that he was seriously considering committing his future to the Madrid club.

But Rodri recently decided that he will in fact leave this summer, and he informed Atleti of his choice on Monday. It is believed his preferred option is to play for Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium and he has conveyed that message to the club.

City sources are insistant, after several transfer near-misses, that the deal is not yet done, but the Blues are considered major favourites to get it over the line. All that is left is to deposit the amount of Rodri's release clause to the Spanish league and conclude talks regarding personal terms. 

Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain also showed varying levels of interest in the player while he deliberated over his future in recent weeks, and sources in Germany suggest Bayern are still keen to sign the midfielder. The German club's sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic, met Rodri's agent, Pablo Barquero, in Madrid in May.

Mats Hummels' expected departure for Borussia Dortmund could require Javi Martinez to move to centre-back, opening up a gap in midfield for Rodri to fill.

But Rodri has told Atletico and City that he wants to move to the Premier League champions and barring a major 11th-hour u-turn, the deal is expected to be completed in the coming days.

Sources indicate the midfielder would earn a basic salary in excess of £100,000 per week, plus performance-related bonuses, should he conclude his move to Manchester.

Additional reporting by Kerry Hau