Friday 14 December 2018

Manchester City could make late move for Riyad Mahrez

The Leicester playmaker may cost more than £75million if a switch to the Etihad Stadium materialises.

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

By Andy Hampson and Nick Mashiter, Press Association Sport

Riyad Mahrez has emerged as a potential late target for Manchester City in the January transfer window.

Press Association Sport understands City are interested in the Algeria playmaker, who was linked with Liverpool earlier this month, and have not ruled out making a bid.

Leicester have not received any offers for the 26-year-old this month but their stance has not changed since last summer, when they rejected interest from Roma.

The club do not feel they need to sell and it would take a fee in excess of the £75million Liverpool recently paid for Virgil van Dijk – a defender – to even consider it.

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Virgil van Dijk

Mahrez is contracted until 2020. For his part, Mahrez expressed his desire to leave the King Power Stadium when he submitted a transfer request last summer and that remains in force.

Mahrez would provide City with another attacking option having recently missed out on long-term target Alexis Sanchez.

An injury to winger Leroy Sane, who has been ruled out for at least six weeks with ankle ligament damage, may have prompted City’s late interest.

City completed the club-record £57million signing of defender Aymeric Laporte on Tuesday.

Afterwards, at a press conference to preview the upcoming game against West Brom, manager Pep Guardiola was asked if there was any likelihood of further signings before Wednesday’s deadline.

Guardiola said: “I don’t know. I don’t think so but in football everything can happen. I am 95-99 per cent that nothing is going happen.”

City have also been linked with Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Fred.

Meanwhile, the signing of Laporte means that Eliaquim Mangala could be surplus to requirements.

Newcastle, West Ham and Valencia are understood to have expressed interest in signing the centre-back, possibly on loan.

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