Sevilla's busy transfer window has continued with the permanent signing of former Manchester City midfielder Fernando from Galatasaray.

Fernando spent two years in Istanbul after being discarded by City and the 31-year-old will reportedly cost Sevilla €4.5million, signing a three-year contract.

According to reports, Galatasaray were reticent to sell the Brazilian, but ultimately caved after Sevilla sporting director Monchi met the midfielder's agent Jorge Mendes, with the Turkish giants said to have reportedly owed Fernando part of his salary.

Fernando is the eighth new face to arrive at Sevilla in a busy transfer window, following Munas Dabbur, Jules Kounde, Diego Carlos, Lucas Ocampos, Joan Jordan, Luuk de Jong and Sergio Reguilon, while Maximilian Wober's loan from Ajax also became permanent.

There are likely to be further arrivals as well, while Sergio Rico, Sergi Gomez, Simon Kjaer, Joris Gnagnon, Guilherme Arana, Sebastien Corchia, Roque Mesa, Aleix Vidal, Ibrahim Amadou and Nolito could be sold.

Sevilla finished sixth in LaLiga last term, qualifying for the Europa League, a competition they have won a record five times.

Bayern Munich have to "wait and see" whether a possible deal to sign Manchester City star Leroy Sane can be agreed, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says.

Sane has long been earmarked as one of Bayern's top choices to replace veteran wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, who left at the end of last season.

President Uli Hoeness and head coach Niko Kovac have spoken highly of the Germany international, who had to battle for a place in Pep Guardiola's starting line-up in 2018-19.

Any potential deal appears a long way from coming to fruition but Rummenigge is nonetheless keeping his ear to the ground in case Sane makes it clear he wishes to move during Bayern's pre-season trip to the United States.

"He wanted to think about his future on holiday. We have to wait and see if something moves on. We are ready," he told Bild.

"The transfer window is open until September 2. Nothing has been decided at all yet. The spatial distance will of course increase [because of the USA trip], but that's no problem at all."

Bayern have also been linked with a bid for Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele as they look to bolster their wide options for the new season.

The France international could be sold to accommodate Antoine Griezmann, who is expected to join from Atletico Madrid in the coming days.

However, former Bayern star Lothar Matthaus has advised them against signing Dembele, who went on strike to force a move away from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Romelu Lukaku is on the other side of the globe and his future is still up in the air.

In Australia for Manchester United's pre-season tour, Lukaku remains a Red Devils player but he is reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford.

Linked to Inter, this could drag on for a while…

 

TOP STORY – INTER STEP UP LUKAKU CHASE

Inter will travel to England to try to complete a transfer for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, Sky Sports reports.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring Marcus Rashford up front, €80million-rated Lukaku wants to leave and Inter have emerged as frontrunners to sign the 26-year-old.

Serie A champions Juventus are also reportedly interested but Inter head coach Antonio Conte, who missed out on signing Lukaku during his time as Chelsea boss in 2017, is desperate to bring him to Milan.

 

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Paris Saint-Germain are willing to part with Neymar for €150m, according to El Pais. Neymar – linked with a return to Camp Nou and Real Madrid – arrived from Barcelona in a world-record €222m transfer in 2017.

Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United amid doubts over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's ability to deliver silverware at Old Trafford, according to The Sun. Pogba has been linked to Real Madrid and Juventus.

- According to the front page of Corriere dello Sport, Napoli are stepping up their pursuit of Valencia forward Rodrigo. The 28-year-old is valued at €70m by the LaLiga club. Meanwhile, Sport Mediaset reports Napoli are poised to sign Eljif Elmas with the Fenerbahce midfielder set to undergo a medical.

- The Suns says Arsenal are planning to hijack Premier League rivals Everton's move for Barcelona winger Malcom. The Brazilian, who struggled to establish himself at Camp Nou last season, has emerged as a target for the Gunners – who look to have moved on from pursuing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

Roma have met with the agent of Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Mariano only returned to the Santiago Bernabeu last season, having left for Lyon in 2017.

- According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Leicester City have entered the race to sign Arsenal and Valencia target Dennis Praet from Sampdoria.

Atletico Madrid striker and former Chelsea star Diego Costa has an agreement with Wolves, reports Globo Esporte.

Niko Kovac is certain Leroy Sane will improve Bayern Munich's squad if he joins from Manchester City.

Sane has been linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions following the departures of experienced wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at the end of last season.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed on Monday he is hopeful a deal could still go through, with Sane expected to make a decision over his future once he returns from his close-season break.

Kovac has no doubt his side would be signing a player of huge talent, saying at a news conference on Tuesday: "He can definitely help us. Period. Exclamation mark. He has showed that in the national team and at City."

With attacking replacements high on the agenda as Kovac looks to build on last season's domestic double, Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele another player on Bayern's radar.

"He is a very good player, too," Kovac said. "We are focusing on the attacking area because we lost two players [Robben and Ribery] that we need to replace. 

"In the 'six position', we have [Joshua] Kimmich who can play there and Thiago [Alcantara] who did a great job. We have got options. I know that there will be more to come.

"The ambitions for this season are very high. We want to defend our double and perform much better in Europe. We want to improve what was good and what was bad."

But speaking at the presentation of new signing Jann-Fiete Arp, Kovac conceded it is not easy seeing off competition from LaLiga and Premier League sides for the world's top players.

"It's no longer club against club," he said. "We have to fight against states, against billionaires. 

"There is more money available for a club like Bayern, but it has become much more difficult for Bundesliga clubs. 

"[Borussia] Dortmund have brought in players from the Bundesliga, not from outside, like the best players play in Spain and England."

Arp joins defenders Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard in making the switch to Bayern and is expected to provide back-up to Robert Lewandowski.

"There is no better player than Lewandowski to learn from as a young striker," Arp said. 

"Everything is going well so far, it's fun being here. I've got to know my team-mates and the coaching staff. I want to train and develop at this level."

Manchester City have loaned United States goalkeeper Zack Steffen to Fortuna Dusseldorf for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign.

Steffen was signed by the Premier League champions in December but remained on loan with Columbus Crew for the first half of the Major League Soccer season.

He made his 84th and final appearances for Columbus in last month's 2-2 draw with New York City FC and is now heading back to Germany with Dusseldorf, having previously played 14 times for Freiburg's reserve team at the start of his career.

"I'm really looking forward to returning to Germany and becoming part of such a traditional club," he told his new side's official website.

The 2018 US Soccer Male Player of the Year was first-choice keeper for the United States at the Gold Cup, which ultimately ended in disappointment with a 1-0 defeat to Mexico in Sunday's final.

Confirmation of Steffen's departure came on the same day that City loaned fellow goalkeeper Aro Muric to Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Muric will also spend the whole of next season away from the Etihad Stadium, but he signed a renewal before departing that keeps him under contract until 2024.

"Extending my current deal with City by a further three years is incredible and an honour for me," he told City's official website.

"I really enjoyed the 2018-19 season and to be involved in our successful EFL Cup run was an amazing experience.

"The players and supporters have made me feel so happy and part of everything and the club have showed their belief in me with this deal."

Real Madrid want Paul Pogba and the LaLiga giants are confident the Manchester United midfielder would reject a possible return to Juventus.

Pogba, 26, is set to leave Old Trafford this close season, just three years after returning to the Premier League club from Juve.

The France international is heavily linked with a move to Madrid, but the Serie A champions are also reportedly interested.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID BELIEVE POGBA WILL REJECT JUVE RETURN

Real Madrid feel Pogba will opt against a return to Juventus even if the chance presented itself, according to the Daily Mail.

The report says Pogba wants to play for compatriot and Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and experience a new league.

Pogba has travelled with United for their pre-season tour, but his agent recently said the midfielder wants an exit.

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- Madrid are set to raise some funds by selling James Rodriguez to Napoli. Marca report Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli is in Madrid with James' agent, with the LaLiga side wanting €42million for the playmaker. Napoli, meanwhile, want an option to buy later.

- Mauro Icardi is unwanted at Inter, with Napoli and Juventus linked with the forward. Corriere dello Sport report Juve president Andrea Agnelli was meeting with agent Gabriele Giuffrida, who could be the intermediary for negotiations between the Serie A champions and Inter.

- Manchester United appear to be searching for a midfielder this close season and they are linked with a surprise move for Tiemoue Bakayoko. RMC Sport say United have made contact with Chelsea about Bakayoko, back at Stamford Bridge after a loan spell at AC Milan, while Paris Saint-Germain are also chasing the French midfielder.

- Juventus are willing to sell Joao Cancelo. According to Corriere Torino, Maurizio Sarri has approved the sale of the full-back, who has been linked to Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

- Everton are looking to strengthen with the addition of a forward. Sport report the Premier League club are willing to offer £31.4m (€35m) for Barcelona forward Malcom, who has also attracted interest from Arsenal. Meanwhile, La Gazzetta dello Sport say Everton had a £26.9m (€30m) offer for teenage Juventus forward Moise Kean turned down.

- Like Icardi unwanted at Inter, Radja Nainggolan has offers from China. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Belgian midfielder is evaluating offers from Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs Dalian Yifang and Shanghai Shenhua.

Manchester United's pursuit of a new centre-back sounds like it is becoming quite expensive.

Not only have Leicester City reportedly quoted them £90million plus for Harry Maguire, the Red Devils are also being expected to make the England man their third-highest-paid player.

Little wonder Manchester City have apparently stepped away from the race to sign him.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED TO OFFER MAGUIRE HUGE WAGE

The Daily Star claim Manchester United are to offer Harry Maguire a wage of £250,000 a week to tempt him to Old Trafford.

That is said to be three times as much as he earns at Leicester City and would make him the third-highest earner at the Red Devils, behind Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.

Perhaps he is worth the money, though. According to the Manchester Evening News, Alex Ferguson has given the signing of Maguire his seal of approval.

 

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- Manchester United do not know if Paul Pogba will be on the plane to Australia for the start of their pre-season training camp, according to the Mirror. Pogba is determined to leave Old Trafford amid links to Real Madrid and former club Juventus.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo wants to join Juventus despite interest from Champions League runners-up Tottenham. Spurs have reportedly offered €23million plus defender Toby Alderweireld, while Juve are prepared to offload Gonzalo Higuain and cash for the 20-year-old.

- The Star reports Arsenal want Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser if they are not able to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha. The Gunners are also favourites to sign Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney ahead of Napoli, according to CalcioNapoli24.

- According to Sport Mediaset, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's agent is in London to hold talks with Manchester United about the Lazio midfielder. Milinkovic-Savic emerged as a target for United at the start of 2018-19 and with the Red Devils needing to reinforce their midfield amid doubts over Paul Pogba, the Serbia international could be available for €80million.

Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann has informed Atletico Madrid that he will not report for the start of pre-season training, Marca says. Griezmann has already made clear his desire to leave Atletico after five years, with LaLiga champions Barca the favourites to sign the France star.

- Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is keen to make a 'statement signing' and has identified Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, claims the Daily Mail.

- The Sun says Atletico Madrid could be forced to sell Saul Niguez amid speculation linking the Spain international midfielder to Manchester United. According to reports, Quality Sports Investments own 40 per cent of Saul's transfer rights and would be owned that percentage if the player – who has a €150million release clause – leaves Madrid.

Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake has emerged as a target for Premier League champions Manchester City, who are refusing to meet Leicester City's valuation of Harry Maguire.

Los Angeles is set for a blockbuster NBA rivalry next season after Kawhi Leonard reportedly agree to sign on for the Clippers.

With Paul George also said to be joining from the Oklahoma City Thunder, an exciting Clippers team is set to go head-to-head against a Los Angeles Lakers franchise fronted by NBA icon LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Leonard, who spearheaded the Toronto Raptors to a maiden championship last season, is a signing who can make the Clippers – who finished eighth in the Western Conference in 2018-19 – a real force to be reckoned with.

In July 2018, it was the Lakers making waves when they drafted in superstar James from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There is now some real star power across both Los Angeles teams, and inspired by this, we have taken a look at times when cross-city rivalries sent the sporting world into a frenzy.

 

Manchester City v Manchester United

For a long time, Manchester City lived in Manchester United's shadow, suffering multiple relegations while their rivals won a treble and dominated the domestic game under Alex Ferguson's tutelage. Things changed in 2008, however, when City were bought by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of the Abu Dhabi United Group, and they have since gone on to become much more than the "noisy neighbours" that Ferguson dubbed them in 2009.

The pendulum did not swing fully in City's favour until the last day of the 2011-12, when they clinched their first Premier League title in the most dramatic of circumstances. Sergio Aguero's last-gasp goal in a 3-2 win against QPR is the thing of folklore, the Argentina striker scoring after Edin Dzeko had already levelled the scores in stoppage time. It denied Ferguson's United, who thought they had the job done having won at Sunderland until news of City's sensational finale filtered through.

United got their revenge the following season, but since Ferguson left, the Red Devils have hardly come close to keeping pace with City.

Rabbitohs v Roosters

The oldest and fiercest rivalry in the NRL is between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters.

Their rivalry escalated in the 1990s when the increased financial standing of the Roosters came in stark contrast to the lack of funds available to the Rabbitohs, who broke a 10-year, 13-game losing streak against their nemesis in 2005.

In the last regular-season rounds of 2013 and 2014, the Roosters came out on top against their rivals to claim the Minor Premiership, though the Rabbitohs won in the preliminary final in the latter campaign to reach their first grand final in 43 years. Four years later, the Roosters defeated Souths 12-4 in the preliminary final at Allianz Stadium, in front of a record crowd.

Mets v Yankees 

In 2000, the New York Mets and New York Yankees met in the Major League Baseball World Series - the first time two teams from the Big Apple had met in the showpiece since 1956.

Referred to as the "Subway Series", it was the Yankees who came out on top with a dominant 4-1 series win, despite having lost 15 of their last 18 regular season games.

It was a third successive World Series triumph for the Yankees, who also made it to the same stage in 2001, but lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The rivals have not met in a World Series since, and it took the Mets another 15 years to make it back to the big stage.

UCLA v USC

One of the biggest college football rivalries comes in the form of the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans.

The most famous encounter between the two universities came in 1967, in a match known as "the game of the century." It matched USC - with OJ Simpson - against a UCLA side including Gary Beban, with the Conference Championship on the line, while Simpson and Beban were competing for the Heisman Trophy.

It was USC who ran out victorious in a 21-20 victory and they went on to defeat Indiana in the Rose Bowl and win the National Championship. Beban claimed the Heisman Trophy, despite Simpson's notable performance in the encounter and 1,543 rushing yards over the season.

Boca Juniors v River Plate

One of the most famous and fierce local rivalries in football, or indeed any sport, the Superclasico is an incredible Buenos Aires derby between Argentina's two biggest clubs - Boca Juniors and River Plate.

In 2018, both sides progressed to the final of the Copa Libertadores, making it the first Superclasico final of an international competition. It was a two-legged encounter with one match to be played at each ground.

Tensions were high, and after a 2-2 draw in the first leg at Boca's home Estadio Alberto J. Armando, they boiled over in dramatic and violent fashion prior to the second leg at El Monumental, with the match eventually called off after the Boca coach was attacked en route to the stadium.

After much controversy, the second leg finally took place at Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, with River winning 3-1 to secure a 5-2 aggregate victory and their fourth Copa Libertadores title.

Rodri declared his love for Manchester City and claimed his new side have "changed the story" of football in England to become a more attractive proposition for players compared to rival teams.

City announced the club-record signing of Rodri on a five-year deal on Thursday after triggering the reported €70million (£63m) release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract.

He also attracted rumoured interest from Manchester United, while Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have been linked with a move in recent days, but the Spain international said joining Pep Guardiola's side was an easy choice to make.

Asked why City are considered a bigger attraction than rivals United, Rodri told reporters: "Maybe they have changed the story. I think City this last five or six years has 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 and that is 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 choose this club because of the football challenge and because over the last two years they have won lots of things. This team is growing every year.

"For me, there were no more options once I noticed that City were interested in me. There was no doubt for me. It was very clear for me to decide to come here. 

"For me it is a great step. Of course there were more teams [interested]. I am really proud of that. I have made a good decision. It is the place I wanted to be."

Rodri thrived under Diego Simeone during his only season at Atletico, where he cemented his status as one of the finest holding midfielders in Europe.

And the 23-year-old is excited to work under another high-profile coach in Guardiola, who he believes can help to further his game.

"Pep played a big part [in deciding to join] but not all of it," he said. "First of all it is a great team with great players.

"I am not coming here because Pep is Spanish. I think he is the greatest coach in the world and that is what is making me come here. I want to learn individually and grow as a football player because I am very young. 

"I have lots of things to learn and I think with this coach, I am going to learn here.

"I didn't have the chance to talk with him a lot before signing. Some of the people who have played for him tell me he is very committed and that he likes teaching players."

Rodri, known for his positional sense and ability to spot a pass, is unfazed by the prospect of having to battle Fernandinho for a starting spot in central midfield, although the Brazilian has been tipped for a switch to the back.

"I know what team I am joining," he said. "I know it is very tough. The greatest players in the world play here so I am going to work all day to say, 'coach I am ready to be in that position'. 

"I am going to fight every day. I have a lot of attitude and skills to be in this team. I can help this team a lot so that is why I came here. I am excited to start and show my football.

"I am a lucky guy because I have played for teams with different kinds of playing styles. The way I play football is close to this so that is why I chose City."

Manchester City's new club-record signing Rodri is excited to get going under Pep Guardiola after completing his move from Atletico Madrid.

The Premier League champions activated the reported €70million (£63m) release clause in Rodri's Atletico contract to make him their first major signing of the close season.

He joins City on a five-year deal and overtakes Riyad Mahrez as the club's most expensive transfer.

And the Spain international is relishing the prospect of working for Guardiola, who has won five major honours with City over the past two seasons following a trophyless first campaign at the Etihad Stadium.

"What City have achieved in the last two years has been amazing and I'm looking forward to being part of such a talented squad," Rodri told his new side's official website.

"It's not just the titles they have won, but the way they have managed it, playing attacking football at all times. It's a style that excites me, as do the club's ambitions.

"I can't wait to start working with Pep Guardiola and my new team-mates and hopefully we can achieve great things together."

After earning a reputation as being one of the finest holding midfielders in Europe during his only season with Atletico, Rodri was widely considered to be among Guardiola's top transfer targets ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

"Rodri has proven himself to be a hugely talented, young midfielder, who has all the attributes we are looking for," said Txiki Begiristain, City's director of football.

"He works hard defensively, makes himself available to receive the ball and uses it well when in possession. He is a perfect fit for Pep Guardiola's team and we are confident he will be a success."

Rodri has been handed the number 16 shirt and is City's second signing of the week following the return of full-back Angelino from PSV.

Manchester City bolstered their options in midfield by making Rodri their record signing.

Rodri has joined the Premier League champions from Atletico Madrid on a five-year deal after the club triggered his reported €70million (£63m) release clause, launching him to the top of the pile in City's spending list.

Riyad Mahrez became their record signing in July 2018 but his £60m arrival from Leicester City has now been surpassed - the seventh time the club has set a new benchmark since Sheikh Mansour's 2008 takeover.

We take a look at the players who City splashed the most cash on and how they fared at the Etihad Stadium.


Robinho - £32.5m from Real Madrid, September 2008

September 1, 2008 was a breathless affair at Manchester City. It began with breaking news of a takeover and talk of untold riches, rumbled forward with transfer speculation as remarkable as it was baffling and ended – sensationally – with a British record purchase of Robinho. The lavishly gifted Brazilian brought the house down with a goal on his debut against Chelsea – City eventually lost 3-1 – and produced some magical moments on his way to 15 goals in 2008-09. A lack of consistency frustrated Mark Hughes and quickly persuaded Roberto Mancini to move Robinho on, but his signing will forever be synonymous with City's horizons changing beyond all recognition.

Sergio Aguero - £38m from Atletico Madrid, July 2011

Much of City's vast outlay after Robinho focused upon established stars with their reputations set and, perhaps, their best years behind them. Mancini's initial overhaul, featuring the purchases of Yaya Toure and David Silva, was a decisive step in the right direction and yielded an FA Cup. But it was a 23-year-old Aguero, a one-time teen sensation who had taken LaLiga by storm, who propelled City towards a title he would secure in such unforgettable fashion. In every season at the club, barring an injury-hit 2012-13, he has topped the scoring charts and in November 2017 became City's all-time leading scorer. An unqualified success.

Raheem Sterling - £49m from Liverpool, July 2015

Much conjecture and controversy surrounded Sterling's move from City to Liverpool and, despite early promise under Mauricio Pellegrini, the baggage of a transfer that saw him become the most expensive English player in history appeared to weigh heavily on the winger. But the 24-year-old has flourished under Pep Guardiola and is now an indispensable member of City's attacking line, even having the audacity to challenge Aguero's status as leading marksman over the past two seasons.

Kevin De Bruyne - £55m from Wolfsburg, August 2015

De Bruyne ensured Sterling's spell as City's record signing was short-lived and instantly lived up to his reputation as a goalscoring midfielder and an assist machine. A disjointed City limped to a fourth-place Premier League finish in 2015-16. Even then, it was not entirely unreasonable to suggest they might have won the title had De Bruyne not missed two months with ankle ligament damage. He was already so pivotal and Guardiola's shrewd decision to move De Bruyne into a slightly deeper midfield role has established him as City's beating heart. A series of injuries limited his impact in 2018-19 but a clean sweep of domestic trophies was still secured in phenomenal fashion.

Aymeric Laporte - £57m from Athletic Bilbao, January 2018

Guardiola has had a decisive influence over the upward trajectories enjoyed by Sterling and De Bruyne and spent in the region of £50m apiece for John Stones, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, but Laporte was the first player to persuade him to set a new transfer record at City. Stylistically, it is easy to see why, with the 25-year-old an elegant, ball-playing defender very much in the Guardiola mould. Dictated by his release clause, it was a staggering fee for a player without a senior international cap but the fact Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson was in the same boat when he arrived from Benfica for £34.7m in 2017 means the manager's instinct should be trusted. Laporte has established himself as a pivotal part of City's defence and will be expected to remain so for many years following the exit of club icon Vincent Kompany.

Riyad Mahrez - £60m from Leicester City, July 2018

Mahrez almost signed for City at the end of the January 2018 transfer window, only for the move to fall through on deadline day. But, as with Laporte, Guardiola and City showed they were willing to wait for their man. Mahrez made no secret of his desire to move on from Leicester but struggled to prove he deserved the big move he so craved. Mahrez was a huge part of the Foxes' unlikely title triumph, named the Professional Footballers' Association Player's Player of the Year in the 2015-16 season, but has failed to hit those heights since. An unspectacular maiden season at the Etihad saw him score 12 goals and assist the same number in all competitions.

Rodri - £62.5m from Atletico Madrid, June 2019

Guardiola has frequently talked about the difficulties of finding a player that can perform the role Fernandinho does for City – let alone do so at a similar level. Losing out on Jorginho to Chelsea was a blow for the Catalan, but he was clearly satisfied that Rodri is more than up to the grade for the Premier League champions. The 23-year-old Spain international instantly made himself a key figure in Atletico's combative midfield after joining from Villarreal a year ago and will hope to do the same at the Etihad.

Manchester City have signed Rodri from Atletico Madrid for a club-record fee after activating his reported €70million (£63million) release clause.

Atletico announced on Wednesday the midfielder's exit clause had been deposited at LaLiga headquarters by Rodri's lawyer and City representatives, freeing him from his contract.

The Premier League champions then confirmed on Thursday the Spain international has signed a five-year deal, becoming their second arrival of the week after full-back Angelino was brought back from PSV.

Rodri's move eclipses the £60m City paid to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City in July 2018.

He only joined Atletico from Villarreal a year ago, signing a five-year deal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The 23-year-old made 47 appearances in all competitions as Diego Simeone's side won the UEFA Super Cup and finished as runners-up to Barcelona in LaLiga.

He also established himself as a mainstay in the Spain squad, with many viewing him as the long-term successor to Sergio Busquets in holding midfield.

Rodri will be expected to provide competition for Fernandinho, while further strengthening the midfield options for Pep Guardiola's side.

The race for Manchester United star Paul Pogba is heating up.

LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Serie A champions Juventus are vying for Pogba's signature.

But Juventus are looking to steal a march on Real Madrid by offering one of their stars in exchange.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA FOR POGBA?

After Real Madrid reportedly offered Gareth Bale to Manchester United in a swap deal for Paul Pogba, Juventus have countered.

According to Marca, Juve have put forward Paulo Dybala in an attempt to prise Pogba back to Turin following his €105million departure in 2016.

Dybala has struggled since Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival and Juventus are determined to add Pogba to Maurizio Sarri's midfield.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Guardian says Frank Lampard will be announced as Chelsea boss on Thursday. Blues great Lampard was seen at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

- Arsenal are set to make an improved bid for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney after their £15million offer was rejected, according to the Mirror.

- AS reports Real Madrid and Tottenham have opened discussions regarding Dani Ceballos, who is surplus to requirements under Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, Spurs star Christian Eriksen was not discussed.

- Southampton have not made an offer for AC Milan forward Andre Silva, according to the Daily Echo.

- Juventus are preparing to make a move for unwanted Inter star Mauro Icardi, claim La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere Torino, Sport Mediaset and Rai Sport. With Antonio Conte determined to make space for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku in Milan, Juve are reportedly willing to offer Icardi a salary of €8m per year.

- Sport Italia reports AC Milan have approached Schalke about centre-back Matija Nastasic after being put off by the price of Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.

Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic could be set for a return to the Bundesliga, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Borussia Dortmund are reportedly pushing to sign the 33-year-old former Bayern Munich star, who only signed a new deal in Turin in April.

- According to the Sun, Leicester City have been quoted £40m for Brighton and Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk as Harry Maguire continues to be linked with Manchester United and Manchester City.

There has been plenty of attention paid to the rebuild going on at Real Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 season, but city rivals Atletico Madrid are arguably in an even greater state of flux.

After years of relative stability under Diego Simeone, who has turned the club into one of Europe's leading lights, Atleti have a matter of weeks to recruit half a squad of players.

Juanfran, Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis and Rodri will all be gone next term. It appears inevitable Antoine Griezmann will depart, too.

Even fringe men Santiago Arias and Thomas Partey have been linked with moves, potentially leaving Simeone with a skeleton of a team.

As Atleti's recruitment drive steps up a notch with the €126million arrival of teenage sensation Joao Felix from Benfica, we look at how the Wanda Metropolitano giants might line up in the coming campaign.

 

GOALKEEPER AND DEFENCE

Were Atleti not losing their entire backline before next season, a move for star man Jan Oblak might well have been a possibility. As it is, the world's best goalkeeper will surely stay put, having signed a new contract in April.

In front of him, Simeone's men have already brought in Felipe from Porto and he will likely partner Jose Gimenez, although depth might still be required in the centre of defence.

Both full-back positions need addressing, with Barcelona's Nelson Semedo - under contract for another three years and with a release clause of €100million - an optimistic primary target on the right-hand side.  Kieran Trippier  of Tottenham looks to be available and has also been mentioned.

On the left, it is said Simeone wants a pair of options. Renan Lodi has already arrived from Athletico Paranaense, while Monterrey's Jesus Gallardo could be brought in as a mentor and more experienced competition for the 21-year-old.

 

MIDFIELD

With so much work to do in defence, Atleti might have preferred to keep the midfield together. Rodri's imminent switch to Manchester City puts paid to that, with the Premier League champions depositing his release clause at LaLiga headquarters on Wednesday.

Fortunately, Marcos Llorente has already joined from rivals Madrid to replace the former Villarreal linchpin in a reported €40m move. He made just seven LaLiga appearances last season.

Soon after Rodri's departure was confirmed, Atletico announced the signing of Hector Herrera on a free transfer from Porto. At 29 years of age, the industrious midfielder adds plenty of experience and should be a shrewd addition given his attributes and Simeone's system.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka is apparently another option, yet Atleti will be desperate to keep hold of Saul Niguez and Koke, while Thomas Lemar will get another season to impress out wide.

 

ATTACK

Atleti had to go big for a replacement for Griezmann, who will finally depart - although his destination is still unknown. Joao Felix certainly represents that.

There will be huge pressure on the teenager to make the step up from Portugal to Spain, but Atleti could hardly have done more than to sign world football's most sought-after teenager.

Supposing Simeone sticks with the 4-4-2 that has served him well in the past, Alvaro Morata appears the most likely strike partner as he still has a year remaining of his loan deal from Chelsea.

But Diego Costa, Nikola Kalinic and Vitolo could all depart having failed to impress last season, while Gelson Martins has already gone. That leaves Angel Correa as the supporting cast in attack and out wide. Further reinforcements are surely needed.

 

POSSIBLE ATLETICO MADRID XI FOR 2019-20

Jan Oblak - Nelson Semedo, Felipe, Jose Gimenez, Jesus Gallardo - Saul Niguez, Hector Herrera, Koke, Thomas Lemar - Alvaro Morata, Joao Felix

Manchester City have re-signed defender Angelino from PSV after activating a reported £5.3million buy-back clause in his contract at the Eredivisie club.

Angelino began his professional career at the Etihad Stadium but did not make a Premier League appearance for City.

He left for PSV a year ago and made 43 appearances in 2018-19 but City have opted to bring the 22-year-old back to boost their defensive options.

After signing a four-year contract with the Premier League champions, Angelino told the club's official website he is looking forward to developing his game under Pep Guardiola.

"I am thrilled to have rejoined City, a side playing incredible football under Pep Guardiola," said Angelino.

"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."

City Director of Football Txiki Begiristain said: "Angelino is a hugely talented young player and is an accomplished defender with great potential.

"Over the past year, he has gained excellent experience playing in the Eredivisie and the Champions League with PSV.

"We're sure that he will bring additional defensive quality to our squad."

The arrival of left-back Angelino could signal an end to City being linked with a move for England international Ben Chilwell but they are still expected to peruse the market for defensive reinforcements after the departure of club captain Vincent Kompany.

With Manchester United reportedly set to beat them to Chilwell's Leicester City team-mate Harry Maguire, City are being linked with a move for Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake.

It was also confirmed on Wednesday that City have paid the £63m (€70m) release clause for Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri.

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