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Will a Riyad Mahrez move progress his career?

Wednesday 6th June 2018

Premier League transfers usually involve big money. Riyad Mahrez is heavily linked with a move away from his current club to another in England.

The Leicester City wide-man has been linked with Manchester City throughout the past season. He wanted to move. City wanted to welcome him. Leicester wanted to prove a point.  

Mahrez went on strike in an effort to force the move. He held out until he realised it was only jeopardising his current season. Despite his absence, the winger racked up 12 goals in 36 appearances, helping Leicester to a ninth-placed finish.

Mahrez is the game-changing character every squad needs. It's why Leicester don't want to lose him. Despite agreeing he could leave over the past four seasons, he is still at the club. 

Man City are allegedly wrapping up a £60 million bid for the 27-year-old. Will Leicester continue to say no? They valued their player even higher in the January window. 

Pep Guardiola is eying other talented players, too. City are determined to progress. They'll wait for no one.

Napoli's Jorginho is on their list. The Italian side are also hoping to receive a £60 million fee. 

If City land both, they'll be over £100 million with just two players. That is the going rate to defend a Premier League title.  While it was unprecedented, City don't intend to stop at 100 points.

If Mahrez does complete a move to Man City, whose place might he take? Even though he plays on the right for Leicester he could also play on the left. That is his favoured foot.

Other players Mahrez will contend with are David and Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. It was quite a surprise to see Sane left out of Germany's World Cup final squad after a fantastic season at the Etihad. Ten goals and PFA Player of the Year apparently don't fly in Germany, but it's the quality with which Mahrez must compete.

Guardiola could conceivably top the £250 million spent last season, no problem. But Leicester's board have subscribed to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy's YouTube channel. They believe a fee more towards the £100 million mark is more appropriate than the  £60-65 million City are willing to spend. The Algerian international is under contract until 2020. The Foxes don't have to negotiate.

This is a deal between two big clubs. City want the key player who will win games and is willing to play European football. Leicester are trying to bleed the stone, aiming for the best possible deal. Riyad Mahrez, who simply wants to play the best football, and European football, that he can, is caught in the middle.

If the deal goes through, and it depends on who will blink first, City or Leicester, will it serve Mahrez's interests? Will he get enough playing time with so many other high-quality players at City already? Will he be a first-team regular? Or is he dancing from the frying pan into the fire?

Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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