Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City might be the best team ever to grace the Premier League, but he is still looking to acquire new players to his side and dominate in Europe as well as England. That is why they are renewing their interest in Algerian international Riyad Mahrez this summer.
The Citizens failed to bring in Mahrez in January with Leicester City wanting more than they were willing to pay and it left the Premier League winner confused. He was waiting at the airport all night for a move away from the King Power Stadium but nothing came of it, and he had to return to a club he wanted away from.
In January the bid of £50 million plus Patrick Roberts was deemed not good enough by Leicester. The owners will have to open their chequebooks and offer a bit more to the former Champions. They demanded £80 million for their star man to deter the advances of the current Champions but with a player who is not happy at the club, they may be willing to take less than that this time around.
The Algerian has become disillusioned with life under Claude Puel, and there are rumours of discontent amongst many of the senior Leicester players who are not happy with the manager. Mahrez is rumoured to being one of those disruptive players, and many will be surprised if he is still a Foxes player next season.
They also need to be careful of not pricing Manchester City out. Okay, they have funds in abundance but they are also eyeing up Crystal Palace star Wilf Zaha as another option, and he would help fit their homegrown agenda.
Mahrez has performed well this year and has ended the season on a high as he finished the season with twelve goals and ten assists. This is his best season since he was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2015/16 when he managed 17 league goals and eleven assists.
It is admirable that he hasn’t let his form drop despite all the transfer speculation, but he has not helped the situation by requesting a transfer. However, the grass is not always greener on the side as he is one of the first names on the team sheet for Leicester, but he will struggle to break into Manchester City’s first XI on a consistent basis.
He will have to accept that he cannot oust players like Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane and David Silva straight away or at all. But the temptation of what Guardiola is building at Manchester City will be too hard to turn down, and the lure of working with such a legendary manager should get the transfer over the line.
With no World Cup distraction for Mahrez, the deal will more than likely go over the line sooner rather than later in the transfer window.