Manchester City activate Rodrigo release clause, confirm Atletico

Manchester City are set to sign Atletico Madrid's Rodrigo Hernandez for a club-record 70 million euros after activating the midfielder's release clause on Wednesday.

Atletico confirmed that City have paid the $79 million fee which automatically terminates Rodrigo's contract with the Spanish club.

"La Liga informed Atletico Madrid on Wednesday that representatives of Rodrigo Hernandez and Manchester City have deposited the amount of the release clause in the name of the player," Atletico said in a statement.

"In this way, the player has unilaterally terminated the employment contract that bound him to our club until June 30, 2023."

Rodrigo's departure had been expected and one hour after announcing City's move on Wednesday, Atletico confirmed the signing of Hector Herrera from Porto.

A club statement described Herrera as a "strong, talented and skilful midfielder," adding that the Mexican will finalise a three-year contract on Thursday.

Atletico had already bolstered their midfield options with the addition of the 24-year-old Marcos Llorente, bought for 45 million euros from Real Madrid.

Rodrigo's departure will secure a considerable profit too for Atletico, who spent around 20 million euros last summer to re-sign the 23-year-old from Villarreal.

But another key player leaving means more upheaval for Diego Simeone and his team. Club captain Diego Godin has already joined Inter Milan while Lucas Hernandez has been sold to Bayern Munich.

Antoine Griezmann and Juanfran have also bid farewell, with Griezmann expected to join Barcelona after his own release clause dropped to 120 million euros on Monday.

City's previous club record signing was the £60 million they paid Leicester for Riyad Mahrez in 2018.

Rodrigo has been tipped to succeed Sergio Busquets as Spain's leading defensive midfielder and will give Pep Guardiola a strong alternative to the 34-year-old Fernandinho next season.

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