MADRID – Spain midfielder Rodrigo Hernandez, best known as Rodri, completed Wednesday his departure from Atletico Madrid, paying the 70-million euro ($79 million) buyout clause in a bid to reportedly move to Manchester City, the La Liga side announced.
“La Liga has informed Atletico de Madrid that Rodrigo Hernandez, through his lawyer, and representatives from Manchester City, paid the player’s release clause at the sports association’s headquarters on Wednesday, July 3,” Atletico’s note read.
“The player has therefore unilaterally terminated his contract with our club, which ran until June 30, 2023,” the statement added.
It was minutes before 2 pm (local time) when four representatives of the player and the English club arrived in La Liga premises to deposit the money.
However, an official announcement has yet to be made by the Premier League winner.
Rodri had previously announced his intention to part ways with Atletico, clarifying that he has made the decision to continue his career in England and under City’s Spanish coach Pep Guardiola who was insistent in signing the 23-year-old player.
This became the fifth departure from Atletico ahead of the upcoming season, following Lucas Hernandez’s transfer to Bayern Munich announced in March; in addition to Diego Godin and Juanfran Torres whose contracts ended on June 30.
Antoine Griezmann, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner with France, has also announced he is to leave the Madrid side, paying his 120 million euros clause this month as he is reportedly linked to a move to Barcelona.
Rodri, who has been raised in Villarreal’s youth teams and joined the capital side last summer, played a total of 47 matches out of 51, with Atletico across all competitions of the 2018/2019 season.
Only Griezmann and Angel Correa played more games for Atleti last season, with 49 and 48 matches, respectively.
Rodri was listed on the starting line-up by Atletico’s Argentine coach Diego Simeone in 42 matches.
Making a total of 3.675 minutes of play, Rodri scored three goals over his lone season at Atletico and assisting on another.
The player, who turned 23 on June 22, has a total of seven caps with Spain’s national team and his first international appearance was on March 23, 2018.