Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola would rather cash in on Riyad Mahrez and keep Gabriel Jesus this summer, according to reports.
The futures of both Mahrez and Jesus are up in the air as they will soon fall out of contract. Their deals are due to expire in the summer of 2023 and they have yet to agree new ones. This despite the fact that City have been talking to them for the last 12 months.
Raheem Sterling is another star forward who will fall out of contract at the same time. Guardiola wants to keep all three but there is a chance one will be on the move.
At this stage Jesus is probably the favourite to leave the Etihad. Arsenal are huge admirers. Indeed it was recently claimed that talks have been going on between Arsenal’s technical director Edu and Jesus’ representatives for some time.
The reports said Jesus and the Gunners had agreed personal terms on a deal. And the only thing needed to seal the deal is for the two clubs to agree on a fee. That should not be an issue either. But if City did not sell, the Gunners would look to sign Jesus for free in just over 12 months.
Despite it looking as though Jesus is pretty much gone, journalist Dean Jones has cast fresh light on the situation. He claims that if anyone is to leave Guardiola would prefer it to be Mahrez.
Speaking to Give Me Sport Jones said: “If someone from the front line was to move on, I’m told that Mahrez is the one they might be more open to losing.”
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That would come as something of a surprise. It has been suggested in the past that Jesus does not fit in with Guardiola’s future plans. Especially considering that City are ready to splash out on star striker Erling Haaland this summer. Such a move would push Jesus down the pecking order.
Manchester City open to Mahrez leaving
Mahrez would fit in more playing down the right flank unless Guardiola has other ideas. Mahrez does remain City’s leading goalscorer in all competitions with 23 goals. He also has nine assists.
If City did look to move him on there would be no shortage of interest. Paris Saint-Germain are known to be keen and could make an offer this summer regardless.
Arsenal could also be in the running. The Gunners made a move last summer but were told Mahrez was not for sale. That may have changed if Jones’ claims are indeed correct.