Mahrez key to talks as Guardiola falls for €50m Man Utd target

Ismael Bennacer

Manchester City are reportedly set to enlist the help of Riyad Mahrez to persuade Ismael Bennacer to join them instead of rivals Manchester United.

City are preparing to say goodbye to David Silva after his glistening decade at the Etihad. And while some have tipped Phil Foden to step into his shoes, Pep Guardiola claimed this week that the English youngster should be judged as a separate entity.

Therefore, City could enter the transfer market to strengthen their midfield. And according to reports in both France and Italy, they could beat their rivals to a reinforcement.

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Pep Guardiola has fallen “in love” with AC Milan star Ismael Bennacer. The Algerian midfielder has impressed in his first season at San Siro, and has already been linked with another move.

Bennacer spent time with Arsenal in his early career, without making much of an impression. However, he could now return to the Premier League.

Reports have linked Manchester United with a bid for the 22-year-old. But now, Gazzetta say he could end up on the blue side of the city instead.

The Italian source says Bennacer would be keen on the idea of joining City. Furthermore, they would be able to afford the €50m asking price that Paris Saint-Germain are also willing to meet.


Ismael Bennacer

Bennacer is teammates with City winger Riyad Mahrez at international level. And Le10 Sport add that Mahrez is now trying to convince Bennacer to sign up at the Etihad.

According to the French outlet, PSG have already had two bids rejected for Bennacer. Therefore, City need to act fast – and Mahrez could play a big role in tempting him towards the Premier League instead.

Last month, the Milan star admitted that he would be open to moving to another European giant.

“I am not aware of anything. I just give everything on the pitch. I work and I am at the service of Milan,” Bennacer told Le Buteur in June.

“I am focused on my club where I am very happy. The interest of the big clubs, however, honours me.”