Manchester City does not seem done spending big bucks this January transfer window. Pep Guardiola, who already has a hand on the league title, is not convinced that he has the tools necessary to end this season on a high and is still in the market, looking to add some quality.
They have already signed Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao earlier this week and reports now claim that they are desperate to land Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez.
The former PFA player of the year award winner has been in decent form this season for Leicester City but was linked with an exit even in the summer transfer window. The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City were all interested in his services but the Foxes managed to retain him, at least till January.
At the start of the month, Liverpool was extensively linked with a move for the Algerian winger as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho but a deal did not materialize. Manchester City emerged as suitors late in this January transfer window.
The horrific-looking injury winger Leroy Sane suffered in the FA Cup tie earlier this month may be the reason for Guardiola’s plunge into the market and reports now claim that they are ready to offer up to £60m for his services this month.
Reports claim that Leicester City have already turned down a couple of bids of over £50m for their star player, who handed in a transfer request yesterday. However, City seems to have failed to land the Algerian winger, with upto four bids on deadline day and it is hinted that they may have given up in this pursuit.
In wake of Sane’s injury, Guardiola has Bernardo Silva as the only real option on the wings for at least a month. Kevin de Bruyne could be pushed to the wing giving Ilkay Gundogan a run in the side but with Sergio Aguero as the only striker and no more backups to their midfield, City will be walking on a thin rope for the rest of the season.
So it does make sense for them to try and find another attacker to not only cover for the injury but to improve their chances to get out of the business end of the season on a high.
And Mahrez, whose versatility will give Guardiola an option on the wings and also in the midfield. His defensive discipline could be a problem or City but his offensive abilities will only get productive, playing under the Spanish manager. He is also available for the Champions League and half-way through the season, a price tag of £65m is not too hard to justify, especially on deadline day. However, now that Leicester has rejected a deal, should Guardiola push on with another bid?
Leicester are playing hardball over this move but the value of the player, half-way through the season may not be the worse expenditure from City and though the Foxes have continually rejected their approaches, they should try to do all it takes to land him before 11pm today.