Riyad Mahrez extends Manchester City contract until 2025 – "City the only club I saw my future..."
Manchester City have this afternoon announced a contract extension for Riyad Mahrez until the summer of 2025 after a stellar campaign last term that saw him finish as the side's top goalscorer in all competitions and the club pick up another Premier League title.
Reports emerged at the end of June that Mahrez and the Premier League champions were in discussions over a new deal, and it was expected from that point the winger would commit his long-term future to the club, even more so as it became apparent that Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling were set for departures.
On Monday afternoon, it was reported by Nabil Djellit in L'Equipe that the Algeria captain was close to extending his contract with the Blues until 2025, which has since been confirmed, extending the 31-year-old's stay in Manchester beyond his initial contract expiry in 2023.
Mahrez has become one of Pep Guardiola's go-to players for the biggest occasions, particularly in the Champions League, and the forward has responded with vital goals at the competitions' semi-final stage in the last two campaigns against PSG and Real Madrid, respectively – with particulalry memorable performances over two legs against the French giants in 2021.
Speaking to the club website, Mahrez expressed his delight with the new deal:
"I'm very happy to sign the new deal. I have enjoyed every single minute of my time here. It’s a pleasure to be part of such an incredible club. To have helped us achieve the success we have enjoyed in the past four seasons has been unforgettable and made us all hungry to look to achieve even more."
"I would also like to thank Pep, Txiki and the coaching staff, both for the way they have helped me to develop as a player and for pushing me to continue to improve. Now I just want to try and play my part in helping us be successful next season and beyond."
"I am very happy to extend my contract here and to stay and see my future here. It was the only club I was seeing my future with, and I am very happy."
On whether he is currently playing the best football of his career, Mahrez said:
"I think I am [playing my best football]. I have more experience and more games and know how to manage my games. Obviously, last year I scored a lot of goals and helped the team to achieve things like everyone else. I think I am in a very good moment."
On why he decided to prolong his time at the club/the club's mentality:
"To win again. All the time. That’s the only thing that drives us, to win again. Win everything we can. Win the first game and then the second and the third and keep going and at the end, we will see what we can achieve. We are big and our mentality even in training is that we want to win. I want to win. That is part of my character and my personality, but I think all the players who arrive here and get to know the team and get to know the club and get to know the manager, we have no choice other than winning."
On Pep Guardiola's influence, Mahrez said:
"I have improved a lot under him. Everyone is happy. I hope we are going to achieve more things during this season and all the years to come."
"I play differently than I did at Leicester where I wasn’t thinking about anything. I was just playing and doing my own thing. At City, with my age and the way we play it is so different. It is just different games, but the basis is the same."
On the competition for the wide positions:
"You always need competition to push you. I see the competition as a good thing. I have always had competition wherever I was but here the competition is higher, and it has made me a better player."
On Erling Haaland and their infamous meeting in Mykonos last year, Mahrez said:
"I think he is a very good signing for us. He is a good striker who can score goals, different from the strikers we had in the past but a very good addition to the team and I hope he is going to improve the level of the team and help us to win things."
"I saw him in Mykonos one year ago and he said to me that he really wanted to come, and I said, ‘yeah, you should because it’s the best club’ and year later he is here!"
On the other new signings in Julian Alvarez, Stefan Ortega, and Kalvin Phillips:
"I think they are good signings. We trust the club. They always make good signings, and they are always doing the right things. We believed even before we saw them that they are good players and more after we have seen them in training, they are, so we are happy."
On being the club's top goalscorer in the Champions League for the last two seasons and the competition itself:
"It is the best competition for everyone, with the Premier League. But the Champions League is a different test. When I play in the Champions League, I love playing in big games and I love playing quarter-finals, semi-finals and loved reaching the final. That’s what we were dreaming of when we were young and to live it is the best present you can have."
Speaking on the contract extension, Director of Football Txiki Begiristain said:
"Riyad has played a major part in our success in the four years since he joined us, and we are all delighted he has agreed this new deal. He has brought so much to the club with his skill, talent, commitment, and desire to win evident from the moment he first arrived. I also know that Pep and the coaching staff relish working with Riyad. He is one of the most exciting wingers operating in the game and we are all very excited to know he will be part of our ongoing drive to try and achieve more success."
Elsewhere, Cesar Luis Merlo reports that Dario Sarmiento is set to join City Football Group side Montevideo City Torque on loan from City until the end of the year after spending last season loan at fellow CFG side Girona. The 19-year-old forward was signed by the Blues from Estudiantes last year, which was followed by an injury-riddled season at Girona.
Written by: @NA1907_
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