Barcelona willing to pay £80m for Man City star; with £100m replacement already lined up by Pep
Manchester City midfielder Rodri is the subject of interest from Barcelona, with the Spanish giants reportedly willing to pay £80m for him this summer.
Pep Guardiola is faced with the prospect of rebuilding his midfield for next season, with Ilkay Gundogan set to depart, along with this latest revelation.
It could prove to be a big challenge to replace Rodri, who has been a key player for the Cityzens for the past few years.
As well as Gundogan and Rodri, West Ham United are also interested in signing Kalvin Phillips at the end of the season, so Guardiola will be left needing three new midfield recruits.
Since joining City in 2019, Rodri has chalked up 185 appearances under Guardiola, scoring 15 goals and making 14 assists in total.
The Spain international has played a key role in helping his team to lift two Premier League titles, two League Cups, and an FA Community Shield, so there is no doubting his importance.
However, it is believed that he is keen to return to his home country, Spain, so Barcelona would likely be an ideal move for him.
According to Football Insider, the Catalans are willing to stump up a huge £80m fee for the midfielder, as Xavi looks to reassert their dominance at the top of LaLiga.
City can bring in ideal Rodri replacement in Declan Rice
While Rodri would undoubtedly be a big loss to the Premier League champions, they have already registered an interest in his ideal replacement: West Ham’s Declan Rice.
As noted by TEAMtalk, City are pushing very hard to seal a deal for the England international, whose current deal at the London Stadium is set to expire in June 2024.
Rice allegedly has no intention of signing a contract extension, meaning this summer will represent the last chance for the Hammers to recoup a sizeable transfer fee.
Comparing the stats of Rodri and Rice, we can see key similarities in their performances this season, with both operating from defensive midfield.
This season, Rodri has averaged 2.2 successful tackles per game, which is exactly the same as Rice. The Hammers captain is superior when it comes to interceptions, though, making 1.6 per match compared to Rodri’s 1.2.
On the other hand, the Spaniard is statistically better in terms of his passing, with a pass success rate of 91.2%. Rice’s is still impressive though, scoring 89.1%.
It’s also worth noting that Rice is only 24, compared to Rodri, who is 26, so the England international would be a better long-term investment for Guardiola.
It is believed that a fee in the region of £100m would be required for West Ham to sell their star man.
Therefore, if City do sell Rodri to Barcelona for £80m, they would only need to spend another £20m on top of that to replace him, which would represent a great bit of business.
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