Premier League • England

Haaland transfer implications see Chelsea size up shock deal for Man City’s top scorer

Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus at a Manchester City match

Man City’s proposed move for Erling Haaland could see two prominent forwards axed, and a report has revealed Chelsea are sizing up top scorer Riyad Mahrez.

The debate as to whether Man City actually need a recognised striker has continued to rumble on. Pep Guardiola’s side marched to domestic glory last season while operating primarily with a false nine. And following Sergio Aguero’s departure in the summer, City failed to sign a direct replacement.

Bids were lodged for Tottenham’s Harry Kane, though when that move collapsed, no alternative options were explored.

Instead, Guardiola has utilised the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling up top and Man City remain on course to be crowned Premier League champions once again.

However, widespread reports have put Man City in the frame to finally buckle up front. Erling Haaland is the man they’re chasing and his £63m release clause could be too good to ignore.

Mino Raiola’s agent’s fees and the Norwegian’s colossal salary will swell the deal’s total cost. As such, and with a position in the forward line due to be wrapped up, two current City attackers could make way.

Arsenal are believed to be making progress in their efforts to sign Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian’s four goals at the weekend showcased how potent of a threat he can be when on form.

However, the latest news surrounds Algerian ace, Riyad Mahrez.

Chelsea sizing up Mahrez coup

Reports from France are putting Chelsea in the frame to make a move for Mahrez. Predictably, competition will be fierce with Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and AC Milan all involved.

That comes from FootMercato, while L’Equipe also stress Mahrez could be a man on the move.

The reports are summarised by the Sun who hint Haaland’s arrival could spell the end for Mahrez.

The 31-year-old’s current contract is due to expire in 2023. As such, this summer would represent the ideal time for City to cash in if they have no desire to offer an extension.

Riyad Mahrez still on Chelsea radar

Chelsea are still interested in signing winger Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City this summer but big wages could be issue

Mahrez is by far and away the top scorer at the Etihad this season. His 23 goals across all competitions have come in just 42 matches. That figure is all the more impressive given he regularly has to contend with rotation.

At 31, Mahrez would represent a gamble for whichever side comes calling. However, his goalscoring exploits may be just what Chelsea require.

In stark contrast to Mahrez’s 23 strikes, Chelsea’s top scorer this season is Kai Havertz with just 13.

Chelsea are currently unable to sign or sell players and cannot negotiate new contracts owing to the sanctions imposed by the UK Government. Thomas Tuchel recently admitted the restrictions were a major factor in their inability to retain Antonio Rudiger, who now looks on course to join Real Madrid.

However, the sanctions will be lifted when the takeover is completed and the new owners are in place.