Report: Manchester City Close to Sealing £60M Move for Riyad Mahrez

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 13:  Riyad Mahrez of Leiccester City elbrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)
Henry Browne/Getty Images

Manchester City are reportedly closing in on the signing of Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez and expect him to join the club "in the next fortnight." 

According to Metro's Sean Kearns, winger Patrick Roberts—who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Celtic—will move the other way in the £60 million deal that will finally see Mahrez become a City player after long being linked with the Premier League champions.

Kearns added that Mahrez's arrival at the Etihad Stadium will likely see City drop their interest in Chelsea's Eden Hazard.

Mahrez, 27, handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force a move to City in January, but the Sky Blues baulked at Leicester's £95 million valuation, so the transfer never happened, per Jamie Jackson and Stuart James in the Guardian.

As Kearns noted, the Foxes set the Algeria international's fee so high to legislate for potentially losing one of their star men midseason with little time to replace him.

It now looks as though they will have the whole summer to plan for life without Mahrez, and in 21-year-old Roberts, they could be getting an immediate replacement.

Mahrez enjoyed an excellent 2017-18 campaign, returning to the kind of form that saw him win the PFA Player of the Year award when Leicester won the title in 2015-16.

He netted 12 goals and provided 10 assists as the Foxes finished ninth in the English top flight, and his stellar relationship with Jamie Vardy continued, per WhoScored.com:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Best assist-to-goalscorer combinations in Europe's top 5 leagues this season Premier League - Mahrez to Vardy (7 goals) La Liga - Suarez to Messi (7 goals) Serie A - Perisic to Icardi (7 goals) Bundesliga - Müller to Lewandowski (7 goals) Ligue 1 - Neymar to Cavani (7 goals) https://t.co/ZYICWcvemg

His versatility should make him a useful signing for City manager Pep Guardiola, who is meticulous in his formation and rotation.

Mahrez can play on either flank or as a No. 10, so he will provide cover and competition at City for David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.


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