Manchester City aren’t stopping. After winning the Premier League with a record tally of 100 points, the Citizens are on the verge of adding even more firepower to their ranks in the summer. Manchester City are actively pursuing two transfer targets to help Pep Guardiola regain the Premier League and challenge on the European front next season. The first player in question is Napoli’s Jorginho. Negotiations between the clubs are ongoing and the defensive midfielder could soon become a City player.
The second player is Riyad Mahrez. City, who were linked with a move for Mahrez in January, have revived their interest in the Algerian trickster. According to reports, the Light Blues are willing to sign Mahrez on a £60m deal which would see Patrick Roberts head in the opposite direction.
Mahrez is amongst the Premier League’s elite, having won the PFA Player of the Year award during Leicester’s historic title-winning campaign. Mahrez was in sublime form last season, scoring 12 goals and setting up 10 more in 36 Premier League appearances. The 27-year-old is simply unplayable on his day – his trickery and skills can beat any defender, and his final ball delivery is also excellent. He generally played as a right midfielder in a 4-4-1-1 system, while he was also deployed as a number 10 in some games. Mahrez is blessed with abundance of pace and stamina, along with great vision and execution.
City have Raheem Sterling as their first choice right-winger, with Bernardo Silva deputising for the England international last season. Silva might make a shift to central midfield next season in order to provide cover for the ageing David Silva. The only other winger in the squad is Leroy Sane. As a result, Mahrez could prove to be a vital player for City, who are expected to fight on all fonts in the 2018/19 campaign.
Roberts coming to the King Power Stadium as a part of the deal will be great for Leicester as well. They will get a similar replacement for a player, who wants to leave. Roberts is a left-footed right-winger with close control and great dribbling skills. His playing style is almost identical to Mahrez’s.
Roberts, after making his senior debut for Fulham, impressed many, including City, who signed the English winger in the summer of 2015. First team football was hard to come by at the Etihad Stadium, so Roberts was loaned out to Celtic in January 2016.
Roberts spent two-and-a-half-year on loan at Celtic, helping the Bhoys to three league triumphs, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups. During his time at Celtic Park, he managed to score 18 goals and provide 26 assists in 78 appearances in all competitions.
A move to Leicester will be good for his career as he is expected to receive regular game time to develop further. The Foxes will also benefit from having one of the brightest English prospects in their ranks.