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Man City approach Barcelona to bring £40m Riyad Mahrez replacement back to Premier League

Man City approach Barcelona to bring £40m Riyad Mahrez replacement back to Premier League

Riyad Mahrez will leave Manchester City for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli in a £30million deal, leaving Pep Guardiola to consider a like-for-like replacement in Barcelona star Raphinha.

Manchester City may want to switch out Riyad Mahrez, who is headed to Saudi Arabia, for Raphinha, a £40 million-rated winger from Barcelona.

Raphinha is reportedly admired by Pep Guardiola, and City are considering a transfer given that Barcelona must raise money before registering their new additions. After City agreed to a £30 million proposal for the winger, Mahrez will join the Saudi club Al-Ahli.

After the two clubs agreed on the price, Mahrez was not included in City’s traveling squad for their preseason tour of the Far East. After City received a new offer that met their valuation, the 32-year-old winger, who transferred to City from Leicester in 2018 for £60m, was given permission to skip the tour.

Raphinha moved to Barcelona for £55 million last summer from Leeds, and in 50 matches for the team, he has scored 10 goals and provided 12 assists. But given that Barca’s well-publicized financial issues are still hurting Xavi Hernandez’s transfer ambitions, the club may be compelled to sell.

Mahrez, who is leaving City with a stellar resume, would be replaced on a like-for-like basis by the 26-year-old winger. The Algerian international played 236 times for City, scoring 78 goals in that time. Under Pep Guardiola, he won four Premier League crowns with City—to go with the one he already had at Leicester—along with three League Cups, two FA Cups, and the Champions League.

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Mahrez decided he wanted a new challenge after being benched in the Champions League and FA Cup finals last month, with Bernardo Silva favoured on the right wing for both games. He has received a staggering two-year deal for £40 million per season from Al Ahli.

Recently promoted Al Ahli is one of four clubs, including Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, and Al-Ittihad, that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund acquired in June. With the prospect of enormous salaries, the fund plundered the Premier League for its talents.

Raphinha

With Aymeric Laporte anticipated to leave the Treble winners along with Mahrez, City are also moving forward with a bid for RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, a defender valued at £75 million. Although Leipzig have been driving a hard bargain on the transfer cost, Gvardiol and the Premier League champions have already agreed upon personal terms.

The Croatian defender is valued by Leipzig at €100 million (£86 million), although City are said to have made headway in negotiations with the German club. Despite uncertainties regarding their futures at the club, Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo will remain with City for preseason.

A 25-person City team will travel to Japan and South Korea. They play Bayern Munich in the Japanese capital on Wednesday after playing Yokohama F Marinos on Sunday. After that, on July 30, the Blues will go to South Korea to play Atletico Madrid in Seoul.

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