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Marca: Rodri to join Atlético next season

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Atlético appear to have lined up the one-time canterano as a possible Gabi replacement.

Girona v Villarreal - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Marca dropped a bombshell report to conclude a rather busy Sunday in Atlético Madrid world. According to Luis Aznar and Alberto Barbero — two of the finest Madrid-based Atlético reporters — los colchoneros will sign Rodri Hernández from Villarreal next summer in a €20 million deal with up to an extra €5 million in variables. This figure meets the buyout clause found in the player’s freshly-renewed contract. The agreement is said to be finalized and the 21-year-old is set to sign a five-year deal to 2023.

Rodri — who played in Atlético’s academy between 2007 and 2013 — has stepped in for the injured Bruno at Villarreal and been one of the season’s biggest revelations so far. Once regarded as too small to succeed in Madrid, the 6’2” midfielder has proven himself an excellent passer and determined ball winner in the air and on the ground. He’s averaged about 4 tackles/interceptions per 90 minutes this year, and his pass success rate is over 89 percent.

Of course, Atlético could have saved the money by simply hanging on to Rodri in the first place, but his time at the Yellow Submarine has seen him grow into a player regarded as a possible Sergio Busquets-type linchpin in the national team’s midfield.

Imagine him in the same midfield with Koke and Saúl for the next several years. Just...imagine it.

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Would Rodri be a good signing?

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