Thursday 20 September 2018

Mahrez left in limbo as City move breaks down on a dramatic deadline day

A busy deadline day saw Arsenal, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund involved in a three-way transfer.

Leicester City v Watford – Premier League – King Power Stadium
Leicester City v Watford – Premier League – King Power Stadium

By Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport

Manchester City’s move for Leicester playmaker Riyad Mahrez failed to materialise on a dramatic deadline day.

Press Association Sport understands the Premier League leaders enquired about the Algerian but were put off by the Foxes’ £95million valuation and ended discussions without actually submitting a formal bid.

Mahrez was left out of the Foxes’ squad for their 2-1 defeat at Everton on Wednesday night and it is understood that he is disillusioned by the fact that he was not allowed to join City.

But Leicester manager Claude Puel said: “We receive at the last moment something about City and I think it was harsh for us. It was difficult also for Riyad.

“Of course I have all confidence about the owner to take a good decision about Riyad for the future and after we will see with Riyad when he can come back with us.

“All the players and staff will help him to come back with a smile and to enjoy his football.”

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Peterborough United v Leicester City – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – ABAX Stadium

Earlier in the day a three-way transfer twist saw Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang join Arsenal for a club-record fee from Borussia Dortmund, reported to be in the region of £56million.

A few hours later, shortly before the transfer window closed in Germany at 6pm local time (5pm GMT), it was announced Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi had completed a loan switch to the Bundesliga side.

That in turn had paved the way for Olivier Giroud to leave Arsenal and be unveiled as a Chelsea player, for a fee understood to be £18million.

The France forward was at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to see his new team crash to a surprise 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.

Tottenham were celebrating before their 2-0 home victory over Manchester United after signing Brazilian winger Lucas Moura from Paris St Germain on a contract until 2023.

Moura moves to Spurs for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £25million, having fallen behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the PSG pecking order.

Swansea paid a club record fee to re-sign their former striker Andre Ayew from West Ham.

Ayew left Swansea in a £20.5million deal in the summer of 2016, he returns in a deal understood to be worth £18million and possibly rising to £20million, while the Premier League strugglers also signed Leicester midfielder Andy King on loan until the end of the season.

Stoke also made a significant investment with the £14million capture of Badou Ndiaye from Galatasaray.

The Senegal international has agreed a four-and-a-half year deal after securing a work permit and was unveiled by the Potters at half-time of their goalless home draw with Watford.

West Ham left it late to sign striker Jordan Hugill for an undisclosed fee, although Sky Bet Championship club Preston confirmed it was a record sale for them.

Crystal Palace also strengthened their attack with Norway international Alexander Sorloth joining from Danish club FC Midtjylland on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Newcastle sealed a loan move for Islam Slimani from Leicester until the end of the season.

The striker, the Foxes’ £30million record signing, is joined by Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, who switches from Sparta Prague until the end of the season with the option to make the deal permanent.

Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic dropped down into the Championship with Fulham after a proposed move to his former club Anderlecht had earlier fallen through.

Serbia striker Mitrovic’s loan move is subject to international clearance.

Everton added Manchester City centre-back Eliaquim Mangala on loan for the rest of the season, as Ademola Lookman (Red Bull Leipzig) and Mo Besic (Middlesbrough) headed out on similar deals.

Watford were busy as Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong joined on loan and goalkeeper Pontus Dahlberg signed a five-and-a-half-year deal from Goteborg before returning to the Swedish side on loan for the rest of the season.

Hornets pair Costel Pantilimon and Isaac Success were both loaned for the rest of the season, to Nottingham Forest and Malaga respectively.

Bournemouth strikers Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban went out on loan to Wolves and Aston Villa respectively.

Press Association

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