Atlético Madrid need help in defence. They will officially lose Diego Godín at the end of the season and have been linked to Nicolás Otamendi, who has fallen out of favour under Pep Guardiola during the Premier League’s run-in — with Vincent Kompany preferred at the back.
According to As, Atlético know how much the Argentine will cost — €25 million. Manchester City paid €45 million for him and City are requesting more, but Jorge Mendes, as he has done so many times in the past, could broker a deal that favours Atlético and gets a move for the player.
The deal, however, could put another name on the table according to Portuguese outlet A Bola. Rodrigo is wanted by Pep Guardiola and the youngster, who has spent just one year in Atlético’s first team, is also wanted by half of Europe. There are only a number of teams, however, willing to pay the €70 million release clause he has in his contract. The Portuguese paper suggests Otamendi plus €45 million would help them convince Atlético to sell the deep-lying midfielder.
Reports suggest Rodri is keen to stay and is happy where he is. He believes Diego Simeone is the best manager from whom to learn and his development this year is part of the reason why Manchester City are interested. Atlético’s brain trust will sit down in the summer and discuss the 22-year-old’s wages with the view of improving his terms to keep him at the club.
The problem is that City can improve his wages substantially and pay the €70 million. The thought is they would be willing to do so if they believe they have the proper replacement for Fernandinho, which they think they do.
It’s a fragile situation at the moment according to all reporting, and Atlético will have to treat it with care to ensure one of the best young midfielders in Europe stays with them for the foreseeable future.