- Tom Cayless
Reports: Manchester City keen to offer Riyad Mahrez new contract
Riyad Mahrez has boosted Manchester City and Pep Guardiola's plans for next season after he made it public that he wants to stay at the Premier League champions and his employers are keen to offer him a new deal, according to Simon Bajkowski at the Manchester Evening News.
The 30-year-old Algerian winger enjoyed a stellar campaign last season, bagging himself 14 goals and nine assists over 48 appearances in all competitions. He was particularly impressive against both Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Bajkowski writes that although his consistently superb performances impressed Pep Guardiola, Mahrez has been one of the few players at City in which their futures were uncertain. This comes after they are looking to raise funds for the potential incoming transfers of both Harry Kane and Jack Grealish.
Plenty of top European sides would love the City winger in their squad, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, options were limited. PSG talk had recently regularly risen, with the French clubs being one of a few clubs that could afford the fee it would cost to lure him away from Manchester.
Nevertheless, this now looks unlikely after PSG have signed; Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georgino Wijnaldum, and Archaf Hakimi all on significant wages.
Mahrez, himself, has also completely dismissed the talk of a move away. Speaking to YouTube channel OuiHustle, Mahrez cemented his love for City and playing under Guardiola by saying this:
"What if I want to go higher? I do not see what is higher [than Manchester City]. Try another Championship [elsewhere]? No. I really love England and English football is wonderful. I don't want to leave, I still have goals to pursue here. When you see Guardiola wants you, it's flattering. The acclimatisation here was not easy, but our relationship today, everyone knows [it is excellent]."
(as quoted by the Manchester Evening News)
According to the report, the club are delighted with Mahrez's comments, and when he returns to training, attention will turn to a new contract. He is currently under contract until 2023, which he signed back in 2018 when he joined the club from Leicester City, but the club will put a new package together in an attempt to extend his stay at the club. It's added that even if nothing happens immediately, the club wants to confirm the players' future.
This boosts Guardiola's plans too as he now can depend on Mahrez for next season's title defence.
The Athletic have published information as to when City players that participated in international tournaments are expected back from their holidays:
Ederson & Gabriel Jesus - August 6
Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker, John Stones & Phil Foden - August 8
Ferran Torres, Rodri & Aymeric Laporte - August 4
Kevin De Bruyne - July 28
Oleksandr Zinchenko - July 29
Ruben Dias & Bernardo Silva - July 23
Nathan Ake - July 23
Ilkay Gundogan - July 25
Unlike most senior players at City, the forward will return to training the week commencing 19th July as he didn't represent his country in any major tournament - along with Joao Cancelo, Benjamin Mendy, Zack Steffen, and Fernandinho. However, Mahrez still enjoyed his summer off partying with Manchester City target Erling Haaland and rapper Headie One - he also proposed to his girlfriend, Taylor Ward.
Written by: @Tom72ii
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