June 13, 2021

Barcelona transfer claims made despite Mahrez’s defiant City declaration

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Claims that Riyad Mahrez has told Manchester City he wants to leave the club and has contacted Barcelona contradict what the winger said about his future last week.

A report in Spain from El Chiringuito suggests the Algerian international is looking for a move away from the Etihad this summer and that there have been early discussions with Ronaldo Koeman’s side over a potential switch.

These rumours arrive not long after Arsenal were linked with the forward, as well as Raheem Sterling, as City are reportedly look to overhaul their squad in the upcoming window.

But Man City fans shouldn’t be overly concerned as Mahrez has made it clear he is happy in Manchester, ruling out a possible move to the North London club.

Riyad Mahrez has been linked with a move to Barcelona
Riyad Mahrez has been linked with a move to Barcelona

Talking to DZ Sport following his nation’s 1-0 victory against Mali on Monday, he said: “There is nothing about my future. I am well in Manchester. I will stay God willing.”

Mahrez is only echoing what he has previously said about his future as he was asked what his plans are ahead of last month’s Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.

He didn’t just express his desire to remain a City player in the short term, he sees himself retiring at the club if he is afforded that opportunity.

He said: “I feel great at Manchester City, and I have no wish to look elsewhere.

“I don’t yet know what my situation will be, but I am happy at City – and they are the club where I want to be.

“People have spoken about me ending my career with Marseille, but that is not something I think about.

“I want to finish my career in England, with City.”

Riyad Mahrez scores against PSG in Manchester City's Champions League semi-final
Riyad Mahrez scores against PSG in Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final

It will be no huge surprise to see City cash in on various first-team players this summer as they still deal with the financial fall-out of the coronavirus pandemic.

A perfect example of that strategy is the club opting not to offer Sergio Aguero a new deal as they decided to get one of their highest earners off the wage bill.

It was a practical decision based on the striker’s age and injury problems, showing they have no room for sentiment when it comes to what’s best for the club’s future.

Parting ways with Mahrez doesn’t seem as sensible though as he has proven to be a big-time player for Pep Guardiola’s side last season, coming up with the goods when it matters most.

He scored a key goal against Dortmund in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final before adding another three against PSG to help them reach the final.

And the 30-year-old should certainly be one player who is exempt from this potential clear-out as he’s still got plenty left in the tank going forward.

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