Barcelona prepare next Man City raid as Guardiola grows fearful about losing absolutely vital player

Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland

Manchester City are worried about the prospect of one of their key players having his head turned by Barcelona this summer, according to a report.

Barcelona have taken a few players from Man City in recent years. For example, their current squad includes Eric Garcia and Ferran Torres, who both played for Pep Guardiola’s team in the Premier League.

Due to the stature of the club, Barcelona are often touted as a potential landing spot for other players who might be keen on a new challenge after representing another successful side like City.

And according to Football Insider, the next player to make such a move might be Rodri.

The website relays that Barcelona are showing an interest in the Spain international as they seek a long-term successor to Sergio Busquets at the base of their midfield.

And in turn, Man City officials believe Rodri may well be interested in returning to La Liga.

Losing him would be a major blow to Guardiola. After all, Rodri has made more than 180 appearances since joining City from Atletico Madrid in 2019.

This season, he has appeared 31 times in all competitions, starting all but one of City’s Premier League matches so far.

Man City in comfortable position regarding Rodri future

Due to his importance to the squad, the report claims City have set a high asking price for Rodri. Also working in their favour is the fact that, last year, he extended his contract until 2027.

Even so, City are bracing themselves for the potential exit of one of Guardiola’s most trusted starters.

In turn, they would have to find a way to replace him. They have Kalvin Phillips and Maximo Perrone as other options to work with in similar territory. But the former has struggled with injuries since his summer switch from Leeds United and the latter is more of a long-term prospect, having only just been acquired by the club.

Therefore, City might have to go into the market to sign an elite replacement for Rodri if he does depart. The report refers to potential interest in England internationals like Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.

In recent years, City have not been afraid to evolve their squad if big names fancy new challenges elsewhere. Hence, they might not necessarily stand in Rodri’s way if Barcelona formalise their interest. But he would only leave if the deal suited City.

At the age of 26, Rodri’s peak years are approaching, if they are not yet here already. Thus, City would like to enjoy his services throughout that timeframe, which his contract should cover.

Though Barcelona can be an attractive destination for some Spanish players. Therefore, it is easy to see why City may believe Rodri could be eyeing a future elsewhere.

They will simply have to hope he can keep delivering on the pitch for them while still at Guardiola’s disposal, which would in turn also protect his market value.

READ MOREErling Haaland ‘picked the wrong club’ as Jamie Carragher goes into depth on why Man City aren’t proving perfect match for striker