LONDON (AP) — Manchester City completed the signing of Spain midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid for $79 million, while Leicester spent a reported $37 million to bring in Ayoze Perez from Newcastle on Thursday.
The fee for the 23-year-old Rodri, who is viewed as the long-term replacement for midfield anchorman Fernandinho, is close to the club-record fee of 60 million pounds (then $80 million) that City paid Leicester for winger Riyad Mahrez last offseason.
Rodri has played six games for Spain.
“He works hard defensively, makes himself available to receive the ball and uses it well when in possession,” City director of football Txiki Begiristain said. “He is a perfect fit for Pep Guardiola’s team and we are confident he will be a success.”
It is City’s second signing of the offseason, after left back Angelino from PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, as it looks to construct a squad to win the Premier League for a third straight year.
“It’s not just the titles they have won, but the way they have managed it, playing attacking football at all times,” said Rodri, who has signed a five-year deal. “It’s a style that excites me, as do the club’s ambitions.”
Losing Perez is a further blow to Newcastle, after Rafael Benitez left as manager of the club following the end of his contract on Sunday. The Spanish forward was Newcastle’s top scorer with 13 goals last season.
Like City with Rodri, Leicester triggered Perez’s release clause.
“I think Ayoze will be a wonderful addition to the squad,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. “He’s quick, has a good eye for goal and he’s experienced in the Premier League, too.”