Manchester City told to cough up £70m to sign Riyad Mahrez before transfer deadline day

MANCHESTER CITY will have to stump up £70m to land Riyad Mahrez before tonight's transfer deadline.

Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by

Leicester have rejected an initial bid of £50m for Mahrez and have told Etihad bosses to meet their valuation or forget about signing the Algerian ace.

Mahrez, 26, handed in a transfer request last night and is determined to join Pep Guardiola's Premier League leaders.

But with less than 24 hours before the transfer window closes it remains to be seen if a deal can be struck in time.

Mahrez has been unsettled since the end of last season when he announced he wanted to leave - just 12 months after signing a new and improved four-year deal with the Foxes.

If Guardiola manages to sign Mahrez it would see him break City's transfer record for the second time in a 48 hours.

Manchester City completed the £57m capture of Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao yesterday to take Guardiola's spending past £440m - before turning their attention to Mahrez.

Guardiola has targeted the 26-year-old after revealing winger Leroy Sane will be sidelined for up to two months with damaged ankle ligaments.

Sane will miss 11 games, including the Carabao Cup final, while Gabriel Jesus is also facing another three weeks on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury.

Manchester City told to cough up £70m to sign Riyad Mahrez before transfer deadline day
Leicester star Riyad Mahrez has been linked with a move to Manchester City

Guardiola refused to rule out signing Mahrez, saying: "I have interest in a lot of players, good players, there are many and the window is open until January 31.

"We have spoken many times with the club to see what is the best with the players we have.

"Right now we have just three strikers. We don't have too much and we play every three days. We have to find solutions.

"It's so difficult. It happened with Laporte because it's a buy-out clause, but when you have to negotiate it's always so complicated."

Manchester City told to cough up £70m to sign Riyad Mahrez before transfer deadline day
Manchester City star Aymeric Laporte cost a club-record fee

Guardiola, whose side host West Brom tonight, admitted losing German international Sane is a big blow.

He said: "We don't have a left foot in that position, we don't have guys to push up like full backs.

"Unfortunately we don't have a left winger in that position, but we are going to adapt. There is not an ideal situation where everyone is fit and all the players are happy.

"The important thing is the team spirit and that people are still healthy and focused on what we have to do game by game."

Manchester City have signed England Under-21 midfielder Jack Harrison from New York City FC and loaned him immediately to Middlesbrough

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