Riyad Mahrez has been heavily linked with a move away from Manchester City this summer with Saudi Arabia side Al-Ahli interested in signing the five-time Premier League winner
Al-Ahli are ready to offer Riyad Mahrez a contract worth around £40million-a-year plus bonuses to leave Manchester City this summer.
Mahrez, 32, has two years’ left on his contract at the Etihad Stadium and has been linked with a big-money move to Saudi Arabia. The Algerian has enjoyed another stellar season at City, scoring 15 times and grabbing 13 assists in 47 matches as Pep Guardiola’s men chase the historic Treble.However, Mahrez is expected to miss out on the starting XI for the all-important Champions League final this weekend. Bernardo Silva, who has impressed on the right-wing in recent weeks, is set to get the nod for the game against Inter Milan, with Jack Grealish on the other side.
With that in mind, Al-Ahli are hopeful of securing Mahrez’s services this summer. According to ESPN, the Saudi Pro League side have offered the former Leicester man £40m plus bonuses per season on a two-year contract with the option of a third season.
Mahrez, who has become frustrated with his lack of game time at City this term, is thought to be open to a move to Al-Ahli, but it is unclear whether Pep Guardiola would want to sell, and the fee City may demand. The situation is likely to be resolved after the Champions League final on Saturday.Since joining City from Leicester in a deal worth around £60m in July 2018, Mahrez has become an integral member of Guardiola’s squad. He struggled in his debut campaign at the Blues but scored on the final day against Brighton to win his second Premier League title – three years after the Foxes’ infamous success.Mahrez also won the FA Cup in the 2018/19 season and added the Carabao Cup to his name nine months later to complete the English domestic treble. During his five-year spell at City, Mahrez has scored 78 goals in 236 appearances and netted a career-high 24 times last season.
Guardiola revealed back in April that Mahrez was unhappy over his playing time, despite netting a hat-trick against Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi-final. He said: “He’s grumpy with me when he doesn’t play, all the time. He makes me notice when he’s grumpy.”He is an exceptional player, his playing is exceptional on the biggest stages and he has the mentality to score a goal. The composure for the penalty was important, and the second and third were brilliant. So satisfied for Riyad because he loves to play football, he’s given many, many things in these years and hopefully more in the future.
“Riyad plays good in every game, also in decisive games, he loves to play football. He is not a guy who has a contract, has to do his job, thinks how many hours I have to train, do my job and go home. Completely the opposite. He loves to be in contact with the ball, that’s why when he’s upset [not] to play is because he wants to play.”
There is no wonder why Al-Ahli would want to sign Mahrez given his pedigree in the game and he could follow several Premier League players to Saudi Arabia. Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are amongst the names already in the Saudi Pro League, while Wilfried Zaha, N’Golo Kante and Roberto Firmino have been linked.
As for City, Guardiola’s men lifted the Premier League title last month after pipping Arsenal in an enthralling title race, before beating arch rivals Manchester United 2-1 in the FA Cup final on Saturday. They have the chance to add their third trophy of the season when they face Inter in Istanbul.