herald

Thursday 15 November 2018

City close in on Mahrez

MOVE: Riyad Mahrez
MOVE: Riyad Mahrez

Leicester star Riyad Mahrez is edging closer to completing a switch to Manchester City.

The winger has been a long-term City target and the Premier League champions are finally closing in.

He has been given extra time off by the Foxes after playing in Algeria's international games in June and is due back for training next week.

No deal has been struck although a £60million fee is reportedly enough to convince Leicester to sell.

Leicester rejected an offer of £50m plus winger Patrick Roberts - who is valued at £15m - in January, ultimately demanding a straight £80m which City refused to pay. Mahrez missed two games during the saga but Leicester held firm for the second successive window.

They were not prepared to let him go in January with little time to find a replacement but now have a month to find reinforcements, having already signed attacking midfielder James Maddison from Norwich for £24m.

Mahrez first asked to leave Leicester last summer and the club rejected three bids from Roma.

The 27-year-old said his transfer request had "gone" in May but left his future open.

He helped the Foxes to a shock Premier League title in 2016, scoring 17 times, and then played a major role in the club reaching the Champions League quarter finals in 2016/17.

Mahrez, who signed from French side Le Havre for just £400,000 in 2014, has made 179 appearances for Leicester, scoring 48 times.

Manchester City have also been linked with Napoli midfielder Jorginho with the Italy international reportedly left out of their pre-season training camp squad.

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