He’s only signed today, but Spain international Rodri has wasted little time in endearing himself to the City faithful by getting straight down to work – and aiming a quick dig at United.
City’s £63m record signing was unveiled to the press today and dived straight into the footballing rivalry between blue and red when asked why so many players are now choosing City over United. “Maybe they changed the story. I think City, this last five or six years, have changed the story of the football here. Not only in Manchester, but England. I don’t look for the team, for the club. I look for the challenge on the sporting front - that’s why I moved here.
“I love the city, I love Manchester, I talk with some guys and I think it is becoming more blue. I chose this club because of the football challenge and the way, these last two years, they have won lots of things. This team is growing every year.”
City have been trying to sign a defensive midfielder since last season, and were close to signing Jorginho from Napoli before he joined Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea. Since then, Guardiola has been hunting for another replacement for the ageing Fernandinho, and just one season with Atletico convinced the Catalan that Rodri was his man.
And the player confirmed that Guardiola himself is another reason why he joined the blues. I think Guardiola is the greatest coach in the world and that’s what made me come here.
“The people who play for him tell me he’s very committed and likes teaching players. Football players, we talk about everything. You talk about City, how the team is doing and Guardiola. Barcelona players- and Thiago at Bayern - told me, ‘He’s like this and he acts like that.’
“That’s one of the things I like most about this coach. They told me in the Spanish national team that he likes improving you all the time and he doesn’t stop. So for me it’s very important.”
The 23 year old has signed a five year contract with the blues and is the second signing of the summer, following the re-signing of defender Angelino from PSV Eindhoven. The 22 year old left back left the blues last August and spent one season in the Eredivisie, making 34 appearances, scoring one goal and assisting ten.
“I am thrilled to have re-joined City, a side playing incredible football under Pep Guardiola,” Angelino said after signing a four year contract with the blues. “Watching them while playing in Holland has been a pleasure. City’s performances over the last two seasons have been incredible and I am very excited about returning and contributing to the Club’s bid for more success.
“I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management and I am very confident that the Club will go from strength to strength over the next few years.”
“Angelino is a hugely talented young player and is an accomplished defender with great potential,” City Director of Football Txiki Begiristain said. “Over the past year, he has gained excellent experience playing in the Eredivisie and the Champions League with PSV Eindhoven.
City’s foray into the transfer market is not expected to finish there, and they are rumoured to be in the hunt for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, Joao Cancelo of Juventus and Nathan Ake of Bournemouth as the blues look to secure a third Premier League trophy in succession.