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Riyad Mahrez Reportedly 'Looks Destined' to Make £75M Manchester City Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2018

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Watford at The King Power Stadium on January 20, 2018 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez is reportedly close to completing a £75 million move to Manchester City.

According to Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail, the Algeria international now "looks destined" to make the switch to the Etihad Stadium this summer, with City manager Pep Guardiola said to be keen to secure some early signings.

"Mahrez, not at the World Cup, should enjoy a full pre-season to acclimatise to Guardiola's methods, with City heading for Chicago, New York and Miami in July," Gaughan wrote. "Napoli midfielder Jorginho will also be in the United States should City secure his signature in the coming weeks."

It's noted Guardiola doesn't want to get involved in a "mad scramble" for players at the end of what is a shortened transfer window for Premier League clubs.

VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - MAY 23:  Pep Guardiola looks on during the Pro Am for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 23, 2018 in Virginia Water, England.  (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Alex Pantling/Getty Images

A payment structure for Mahrez has reportedly yet to be finalised, although it appears the amount will exceed the club-record fee of £57 million City paid to secure the signing of Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao in the January transfer window.

Mahrez was linked with a move to City in January after the Premier League champions opted against pursuing Alexis Sanchez.

James Robson of the Manchester Evening News outlined why City want to bring in a player of Mahrez's style:

James Robson @JamesRobsonMEN

Guardiola and Begiristain were assessing versatile forwards who can add natural width and Mahrez still ticks the boxes.

The 27-year-old has become one of the most effective wide players in the top flight in recent seasons, shining on the right flank.

Mahrez can be devastating when drifting off the touchline into dangerous areas, as he possesses exceptional balance, a burst of speed and excellent technical ability.

Per Sky Sports Statto, alongside Jamie Vardy he's been effective for Leicester:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

Jamie Vardy & Riyad Mahrez have scored a combined 91 PL goals in the last 3 seasons - the rest of the Leicester squad have scored 73 PL goals for the club in that time https://t.co/30rbNQgTb4

So much of the excellent attacking work done by City last season came through the penetration offered from Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane in wide positions. But if either was rested, injured or suspended, City sometimes lacked that dynamism on both wings.

Mahrez would provide that extra competition, and given how he floats infield, he would give Guardiola a different attacking option to Sane and Sterling.

Grup14's Rafael Hernandez believes the acquisition fills one of the few holes in City's squad:

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

I’m expecting Jorginho and Mahrez to be signed, would make this squad near perfect in every position.

Despite the money to be paid, Mahrez may not be a guaranteed starter for City with Sane and Sterling also in the squad, not to mention Bernardo Silva. But he's someone who can make a massive impression for the champions as they go in search of four trophies in the 2018-19 campaign.

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