Manchester City are closing in on deals for Rodri, the Atletico Madrid midfielder, and Juventus right back, Joao Cancelo, worth upwards of £108 million as the Premier League champions waste no time laying the groundwork for next season.
Rodri has informed Atletico that he wants to join City after initially requesting time to decide his future and last season’s domestic treble winners are now expected to trigger the €70 million release clause (£62.5 million) in the 22-year-old’s contract.
That fee would eclipse the club record £60 million that City paid Leicester for Riyad Mahrez 12 months ago.
Having seen Chelsea sign midfielder Jorginho from under their noses last summer, City are adamant that a deal has still to be concluded and are unlikely to rest easily until the relevant funds have been deposited with the Spanish League - a requirement where Spanish release clauses are concerned - and personal terms finalised.
Rodri’s impending arrival at the Etihad Stadium would bring Guardiola’s 18 month search for a long-term successor for Fernandinho to an end and serves as an ominous warning to their rivals as City bid to build on their domestic dominance and finally land the Champions League.
Atletico - who are about to complete the £107.3 million signing of Benfica’s teenage forward, Joao Felix - have identified Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente as a potential replacement for Rodri, who many consider to be the heir apparent to Sergio Busquets in the Spain national team.
In addition to Rodri, City are also in advanced talks with Juventus about signing Cancelo, the highly regarded Portugal right back.
A deal has yet to be concluded but negotiations have progressed over the past 48 hours and there is optimism an agreement will be struck. City are likely to pay an initial £44.5 million although there has been a sticking point over the adds ons, with Juventus holding out for a total package worth about £53.5 million.
One potential complication to Cancelo’s arrival is if City are unable to find a buyer for Danilo although there is thought to be interest from Italy in the Brazil right back, even if he seems unlikely to move to Inter Milan now. Danilo wants more regular football, something Guardiola has been unable to guarantee, but Antonio Conte, the new Inter coach, is not thought to be interested in buying the Brazilian, despite almost signing him for Chelsea.
Cancelo would provide added competition at right back for the England defender Kyle Walker, whom City are due to announce in the next 48 hours has signed a two-year contract extension with the club.
Walker was eager to commit his long-term future to City and negotiations were concluded swiftly. The 29-year-old still had three years left on the contract he signed when he arrived from Spurs for £50 million in 2017 meaning the new deal will tie him to the Etihad until June 2024.
Guardiola is also in the market for a centre-half this summer but, despite Harry Maguire’s desire to join the champions, City are currently reluctant to pay Leicester’s £80 million asking price. Maguire is being chased by several other clubs, including Manchester United.