Manchester City have had their initial offer for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez rejected with the transfer deadline fast approaching. According to recent reports in the English media, the Foxes have rejected City’s opening bid of £50m and are holding out for double that amount going into the final day of the ongoing transfer window. The Citizens will have to smash their transfer record for the second time in 48 hours to secure the services of the Algerian international in what could possibly be a sensational deadline-day swoop for the talented Premier League star.
Pep Guardiola’s side sealed a move for Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for a fee in the region of £57m on Tuesday. It was reported yesterday that the Algerian winger has put in a transfer request following City’s surprise offer of £50m to take him to the Etihad Stadium.
Some sources are now claiming that the Foxes are asking for nearly double the money that City offered for the 26-year-old, who still has two-and-a-half years to run on his £100,000-a-week contract with the West Midlands club. Mahrez is desperate to part ways with the Foxes and did not take part in training with the rest of his team-mates on Tuesday, ahead of their Premier League match versus Everton at Goodison Park.
Mahrez has featured in 27 matches for the West Midlands outfit and has scored 9 goals while providing 9 assists in all competitions this season.
Pep Guardiola did not rule out the possibility of sealing a move for the 26-year-old ace to bolster his attacking options for the rest of the campaign after he revealed that Leroy Sane will be sidelined for up to six to seven weeks due to ankle ligament damage. In a recent interview, Guardiola said, ‘It’s so difficult. It happened with Laporte because it’s a buy-out clause. When you have to negotiate it’s so complicated. Right now, it’s the same as Alexis Sanchez and Laporte. It’s not the place to talk about it.
‘I have interest in a lot of players, good players. There are many. The window is open until January 31. We spoke many times with the club to see what is the best with the players we have.
‘We have just three strikers with Raheem Sterling for the next month and a half. Gabriel is coming maybe in the next five or six weeks. We don’t have too much and we play every three days. We have to find solutions.’
The Manchester side are currently leading the Premier League table with a tally of 65 points in 24 league matches. They are in cruise control as they look to earn another league title at the top tier of English football with a mammoth 12 point lead over their crosstown rivals Manchester United. Pep Guardiola’s side are still participating in four different competitions, having already secured qualification to the final of the Carabao Cup while also going through into the fifth round draw of the FA Cup.
The Citizens will go head to head with FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages so their quest of achieving an unprecedented quadruple is well and truly on the cards. The addition of Mahrez will undoubtedly give Guardiola’s side a much-needed move going into the second half of the campaign. It remains to be seen whether they are successful in their pursuit of the Algerian’s signature.
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