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MANCHESTER MORE BLUE

Manchester is becoming more blue, says City’s new signing Rodri

In Summary

• The 23-year-old, who studied Business Studies and Economics at Universidad de Castellon while at Villarreal, sought advice from both Sergio Busquets and Bayern’s Thiago Alcantara about Guardiola.

• Rodri will start pre-season training with City on Monday and was taken on a tour of the club’s campus on Thursday.

Atletico Madrid's Rodri in action with Athletic Bilbao's Markel Susaeta
Atletico Madrid's Rodri in action with Athletic Bilbao's Markel Susaeta
Image: /REUTERS

New Manchester City signing Rodri claims the Premier League champions have changed the landscape of English football as the club’s record signing outlined the reasons for teaming up with Pep Guardiola.

 

The £62.8million central midfielder believes the Premier League champions have permanently usurped Manchester United as the region’s top side while making his arrival from Atletico Madrid. Rodri was flanked by his girlfriend, mum, dad and two brothers on his first day in Manchester, claiming he did not entertain any offers from other clubs ­— including Bayern Munich.

“The last five or six years has changed the story of football here,” Rodri said. “Not only Manchester but the whole of England. Manchester is becoming more blue. I’ve been following this team for four or five years now. Not just because of the good players but because of the way they play. I don’t watch too much football but I’ve been watching City.”

 

“There wasn’t another option. This was the place I wanted to be. Once I knew the club was interested in me there was no doubt. It was very clear for me to decide to come here.”

“Since Pep arrived, it has been a radical change in the way they’ve played and they are one of the most feared in Europe. It’s not just pretty football. City are in the top two or three teams in the world. They even make good teams change their style.”

The 23-year-old, who studied Business Studies and Economics at Universidad de Castellon while at Villarreal, sought advice from both Sergio Busquets and Bayern’s Thiago Alcantara about Guardiola.

Rodri has been talked up as Spain’s natural successor to Busquets and added: “Sergio has been the greatest defensive midfielder of the last 10 years. I watched him when I was little. I’m close (in style) to him but have other skills. I’ve learned about him, learn from Fernandinho — these guys in my position — and we are similar. Sergio told me about Pep, that he likes improving you. He doesn’t stop.”

“I’m going to grow under Pep. I’m not coming here because the manager’s Spanish. I think he’s the greatest coach in the world.”

 

Rodri will start pre-season training with City on Monday and was taken on a tour of the club’s campus on Thursday.

“The city is tiny — it’s good for me,” he said. “I’ve never lived in big cities. I don’t want massive cities. I’m joining a great league that will make me grow in many aspects.”