Marcos Llorente unveiled as an Atletico Madrid player with Rodri’s number on the back as Manchester City close in on club-record deal
- Marcos Llorente was unveiled as an Atletico Madrid player on Friday afternoon
- Llorente moved from rivals Real Madrid for £36million
- The new Atletico star was given the No 14 shirt which Rodri currently wears
- Manchester City are close to signing Rodri for a club-record fee this summer
Macros Llorente was presented as an Atletico Madrid player with Manchester City target Rodri’s No 14 on the back.
This has sparked suggestions that the Spain international is close to completing a deal to move to the Etihad Stadium.
Llorente completed a move from rivals Real Madrid earlier this month for £36million.
Macros Llorente was presented as an Atletico Madrid with Rodri’s number on the back
Spain international Rodri (left) currently wears 14 and is expected to leave the club
It came as a surprise, however, to see Llorente given Rodri’s shirt number during his presentation on Friday.
It has long been known that Rodri, the 22-year-old midfielder, has been Guardiola’s top priority and he has paved the way for a switch to Manchester after telling Atletico Madrid officials that he wants to leave.
Rodri has a €70million (£63m) buyout clause, which he will have to pay directly to his current club once receiving that advance from the Premier League champions; City insist there is still work to be done but sources at Atletico believe the conclusion of this transfer is imminent.
Discussions, led by City’s director of football Txiki Bergiristan, have taken place over a number of months, and Rodri, who has been regarded as Sergio Busquets’ long-term successor in the Spain national team, has verbally agreed a long-term contract at the Etihad Stadium.
The fee will usurp the £60m that City paid to Leicester 12 months ago to land Riyad Mahrez.
Guardiola has been anxious to sign a midfielder to replace the influential Fernandinho in the long term and Rodri, who rose to prominence at Villarreal, has always been his preferred target.
Rodri registered 84 appearances for Villarreal before making a £22m move to join Diego Simeone’s side in May 2018.
Manchester City are edging closer to signing Rodri for a club-record fee this summer
Pep Guardiola has been anxious to sign a midfielder to replace the influential Fernandinho