Man City interested in 20-year-old with six months top-flight experience to replace Mahrez

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Despite only signing a new deal in 2022 which would’ve seen him stay at Man City until 2025, Riyad Mahrez has been tempted by the mega-money being offered to players in the Saudi Pro League and will shortly leave the Premier League champions.

The Algerian is apparently going to be paid an eye-watering £45m per year according to 90Min, which dwarves his current £8.3m per year salary (via Capology).

Pep Guardiola, as is his wont, is again looking to shuffle his pack at the Etihad Stadium and hasn’t stood in the way of the 32-year-old’s desire to move to pastures new.

In fact, by trading Mahrez for a potential replacement that is 12 years his junior, it could be argued that the Catalan is injecting some new life into a side that won everything last season.

If nothing else, Guardiola is known for his relentless quest for perfection, and if he sees that any of his players lack the desire that he has, it’s no surprise to learn that he will be ruthless when it comes to assessing the relative merits of his squad.

Whilst there’s no suggestion that Mahrez’s light has dimmed, there are obvious benefits in allowing him to leave at this point, without upsetting the equilibrium of the side.

Lyon’s Bradley Barcola is being looked at as a replacement according to 90Min, and what’s odd is that the 20-year-old French U21 international has only been playing in the top-flight since January of this year.

To that end were City to acquire his services, it may well be that Barcola has to make do with a place in the squad rather than the first team initially.

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