Manchester City Backs Off From Mahrez


As of Wednesday, Manchester City has pulled the plug on their interest in Riyad Mahrez, after it was quoted £95 million to land the Leicester star.

The Blues made no formal bids for the 26-year-old Algeria international, but they were prepared to offer £60 million to bolster their attacking options. By the looks of it, the club will now continue their hunt for another forward in the summer. A suggestion from Leicester for an unnamed City player was reportedly turned down by the Blues.

Man City insists they have not leaked details about private negotiations for Mahrez, but perhaps a third party was briefing the media and came upon some knowledge? Well-placed sources within the club have bridled at the suggestion that City’s interest in Mahrez was only sparked by the news that Leroy Sane had damaged ankle ligaments and would be out for up to seven weeks.

Based on previous knowledge, Pep Guardiola has been intent on signing an attacking player since last summer, but their bid to land Alexis Sanchez fell down on deadline day.  When that mission failed, the club then began to peek interest in Mahrez.

They were already interested in the 2016 Player of the Year, even before Sane was scythed down at Cardiff on Sunday, sustaining the injury that will keep him out until the end of March.

That injury made it more compelling to try and sign another forward, as it meant the Blues were down to Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero to fill three attacking slots, with Sane and Gabriel Jesus both injured. Regardless, even before injuries to Sane and Jesus, this has been a team that’s low in depth.

Mahrez himself was desperate to join the Blues, and handed in a transfer request on Tuesday night in a bid to force through a move. In fact, he was apparently left out of the Leicester squad after apparently failing to show up for a light training session prior to their game at Everton.

Mahrez is said to be frustrated that the Foxes have blocked his move to a bigger club, considering management has allowed fellow title winners N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater to leave.

The Mahrez deal was the only remaining interest City had in the January transfer window, after securing the club record £57 million signing of Aymeric Laporte on Tuesday, and also paying New York City £4 million for England under-21 player Jack Harrison.

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