Manchester City are reportedly sounding out two top-class wingers as would-be replacements for Riyad Mahrez following revelations that the Algerian is pushing to leave the Etihad this summer.
Mahrez has been at City since a £60m move from Leicester in summer 2018. A Premier League title winner from his days at the King Power, he has since added to his haul by winning 10 major trophies under Pep Guardiola.
However, his future is now very much at a crossroads following strong interest in his services from Saudi Pro-League side Al Ahli. And having made contact to offer the 32-year-old star a whopping £43m deal over two seasons, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed Mahrez is pushing to make the move.
Indeed, despite helping the Cityzens win a historic Treble last season, we revealed that Guardiola’s decision to bench the star in both the FA Cup and Champions League finals seriously upset him.
And having failed to feature in either game, Mahrez, despite Guardiola assurances he remains a big part of his plans, is now pushing to leave.
City, though, have made it clear they want the winger to stay. His deal at the Etihad still has two years left to run.
However, there appears a growing belief that Mahrez will get his way despite City’s apparent demand for a £25m fee.
As a result, reports are now emerging that City are also preparing for life after the winger.
Filling his boots though will not be easy with Mahrez boasting an enviable record.
Indeed, he’s one of just 14 players to have over 60 goals and 60 assists in Premier League history.
Man City make contact with Raphinha; quoted reasonable price
Now according to reports in France, City’s first-choice to replace Mahrez is Barcelona’s former Leeds star Raphinha.
The Brazilian only moved to the Nou Camp last summer, finishing in his first season as a title winner. He still remains a favourite of the Elland Road faithful for his part in their escape from relegation in the 2021/22 season.
However, with Barcelona still battling their financial demons, the Brazilian’s name is regularly being linked with a return to England. To that end, Newcastle and Arsenal are among those to have been linked with him this summer.
Now Foot Mercato claims City sporting director Txiki Begiristain and Barca counterpart Deco have had initial contact over a potential deal for Raphinha.
And Barca are reportedly not against his sale amid claims an offer of around €60m (£52m) would secure his signing.
And the fee for the 26-year-old would be well within reach for City were they to make a move.
Raphinha, who has 10 goals and 10 assists in 50 appearances for Barcelona, could reunite with former Leeds teammate Kalvin Phillips at the Etihad.
City also looking at Dani Olmo
Raphinha is not the only winger City are looking at, however.
Indeed, Football Insider reports that Guardiola and Co are also considering a move for RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo.
The 25-year-old Spain winger has notched 55 goals and 57 assists in 247 club outings since 2015.
However, any move would not come cheap. Olmo is tied to the Bundesliga giants until 2027, after agreeing to extend his stay last month.
To that end, a fee in the region of €75m (£65m) has reportedly been placed on his head.
Leipzig, of course, are in no hurry to sell either. Having lost Dominik Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku already, the loss of another top talent would hit them hard.
Furthermore, City are also hoping to raid the Bundesliga outfit for stylish defender Josko Gvardiol this summer.
To that end, reports earlier on Wednesday claim Guardiola is stepping up his push to sign the Croatian.