Man City sanction €35m exit as Guardiola dreams of Barcelona star as ideal replacement

Ben Stewart
Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates with Kyle Walker
Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates with Kyle Walker

Al Ahli have reached an agreement with Manchester City to sign Riyad Mahrez in a deal worth around €35million as Pep Guardiola considers his replacement.

The move to Saudi Arabia has been on the cards for Mahrez for some time now, with a highly lucrative contract offer on the table.

Al Ahli have already signed the likes of Edouard Mendy and Roberto Firmino from the Premier League this summer.

Mahrez featured in 30 Premier League matches last season and chipped in with 15 goal contributions in that time.

David Ornstein has confirmed the details of his move to Saudi as a deal between Man City and Al Ahli has been struck.

“Al Ahli have reached total agreement with Manchester City to sign Riyad Mahrez in deal worth €30m + €5m add-ons,” Ornstein revealed on Twitter.

The journalist also clarified that Mahrez is set to have his medical on Thursday before signing a three-year contract, with the option of a fourth year.

READ: Riyad Mahrez will leave Man City for Saudi Arabia without the plaudits he deserves

The 32-year-old will undoubtedly be a tough player to replace. Considering the minutes he played while at City, his goal return has been nothing short of sensational.

Last season in the Premier League for example, he averaged a goal contribution every 128 minutes which is ruthless consistency.

While Man City will find it tough to replace those numbers, they have started to identify his potential replacement.

According to the latest reports, Barcelona winger Raphinha is their ‘priority’ target if Mahrez does indeed depart.

The Brazilian winger certainly knows a thing or two about the Premier League after a couple of excellent seasons with Leeds United.

He made a £55m move to Barcelona last summer and has continued to impress since. In La Liga last season, he chipped in with seven goals and seven assists in what proved to be a solid debut season.

Raphinha is also being eyed up by teams in Saudi Arabia, although his priority at this stage is to continue with Barcelona.

READ MORE: Man City agree blockbuster deal with top target as Guardiola closes in on second summer signing