The Blues have moved following Leroy Sane’s injury but know they will need the Algerian to force the Foxes to sell him before Wednesday’s deadline
Manchester City have launched an audacious £60 million move to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City before Wednesday’s transfer deadline, Goal understands.
City’s approach has turned Mahrez’s head and it is believed he is ready to hand in a transfer request in a bid to force Leicester into a shock deal.
The Blues’ interest in Mahrez was first reported by a British national newspaper earlier on Tuesday and Goal can confirm that the club are working hard to bring the Algerian to the Etihad Stadium.
City insiders believe that any possible move will be difficult to conclude, but feel that their chances would be boosted significantly if Mahrez formally requests that Leicester sell him.
Mahrez has been determined to join a top European club for some time and it is understood that he will ask his employers to let him leave the King Power Stadium in January.
Sources close to the player have told Goal that a £60m bid was lodged on Tuesday.
Goal reported during the weekend that City officials have been working on a third potential signing, possibly a forward, at the same time as negotiating deals for Aymeric Laporte and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred.
Those City officials were keeping the third option’s identity close to their chests and, as of the end of last week, they were unsure whether there would be enough time to conclude the deal.
But following Leroy Sane’s injury at Cardiff on Sunday, one which will keep him out for six or seven weeks, the Premier League leaders have stepped up their pursuit.
Pep Guardiola insisted during his Tuesday press conference that there was a “95% or 99% chance” that City would do no further business this window, but sources have indicated that he is hopeful of overcoming the odds and bringing in Mahrez – but only if the forward pushes for it.
Since City’s interest in the 26-year-old was revealed by The Sun, Goal has learned that he had been one of a number of targets that City had been monitoring with a view to a summer move, if they could not sign him this month.