Leicester

Pep Guardiola landing £45m-rated star would turn Man City into Champions League contenders

The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern were disappointed not to secure Riyad Mahrez’s signature during the January transfer window, but recent reports suggest that they could be set to renew their interest next summer. 

Riyad Mahrez was the subject of deadline day drama on the last day of the mid-season window this season, but after rife speculation persisted throughout the entirety of the day, the Leicester City star stayed firmly put at the King Power Stadium. The news arrived as a huge disappointment to the Citizens punters propping up our bar, but recent reports suggest their club may finally land the Algerian ace during the summer transfer window.

According to the Daily Mirror, City will come calling for his signature once again this summer, despite having a bid worth £60 million rejected in January. The fiasco stirred quite the frenzy in the British media after Mahrez (valued at £45 million by Transfermarkt) went AWOL in the aftermath of the saga, so it seems obvious that the only party who are opposed to the move at this moment in time is Leicester City.

However, that could all change at the end of the season, as it’s unlikely that Claude Puel will want an unhappy player disrupting the dressing room. If a deal can eventually be concluded for Mahrez then City’s ambitions of lifting the Champions League next season will be significantly enhanced.

The extent of Mahrez’s ability requires little introduction, as his ability to dazzle opponents with a direct style of dribbling combined with a consistently quality end-product has enabled him to establish a glowing reputation in European football.

His arrival at the Etihad would add yet another frightening attacking dimension to Guardiola’s star-studded squad and, considering City only have two natural wingers within their ranks, his presence would enable the manager to tinker with his options in crucial situations.

There were many reasons to explain City’s Champions League defeat against Liverpool at the quarter-final stage, one of which was their over reliance on Leroy Sane to provide a creative spark in the final-third.

Despite the fact that Trent Alexander-Arnold was dealing with his threat brilliantly, City continued to persist with their blunt tactic, presumably due to a lack of alternatives.

Mahrez would have offered a completely unique dynamic at that moment and allowed City to prise Liverpool’s defence open with a different tactic, but without him they came unstuck and crashed out of the competition at an earlier stage than many had expected them to.

City need to fix this glaring problem within their squad next season in order to get beyond the quarter-final stage and genuinely challenge for Europe’s greatest prize, and signing Mahrez represents a perfect resolution to the problem.

Manchester City fans – thoughts? Let us know below!

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