Manchester City have agreed a deal worth £30 million with Al Ahli for the transfer of Algeria International Riyad Mahrez.
Al Ahli had initially increased their beginning offer of £18.5 million to £27 million but they have been forced to top that amount, after Manchester City rejected both bids.
Reports indicate that Riyad Mahrez has been given permission not to accompany the squad for the Citizens preseason tour to Japan and South Korea.
The preseason tour of Pep Guardiola’s side will commence on Sunday, July 23, 2023 when they will be trading tackles with Yokohama FM.
Manchester City also play Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid on the 26th and 30th of July, 2023 respectively.
Riyad Mahrez set to become Al Ahli 6th signing this summer
Mahrez will become the 6th signing for Al Ahli this summer, having already signed Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Sumaihan Al-Nabit, Fahad Al-Rashidi and Abdullah Otayf.
The Saudi Pro League side are also edging closer to signing Allan Saint-Maximin from Newcastle United as negotiations are still ongoing.
Riyad Mahrez made 236 appearances in total for Manchester City, scoring 78 goals and providing 59 assists across all competitions.
He is set to end his 9-and-a-half-year stay in England, having joined Leicester City from Le Havre on the 11th of January, 2014.
Mahrez is expected to pen a three-year deal with Al Ahli, which will see him stay at the Jeddah based club until the summer of 2026.
He made 47 appearances for Manchester City last term, scoring 15 goals and providing 13 assists in all competitions.
The Algerian reportedly wasn’t desperate for a move away from England but he can take solace in the fact that he was amongst the side who helped the Citizens win the treble.
Riyad Mahrez was also amongst the Leicester City side that achieved the unthinkable, winning the Premier League title when all odds were against them.
He will also follow the path of N’Golo Kante, who was also instrumental in the 2015 triumph with the Foxes.
Saudi Arabia continue their raid on the European continent
Following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in January, Saudi Arabia has continued its raid of the European continent, signing many of its biggest stars.
Riyad Mahrez is set to become the latest high profile signing this summer, after N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema, Marcelo Brozovic, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly joined the Pro League.
Ruben Neves, Roberto Firmino amongst others have also made a move to Saudi Arabia this summer.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is also closing in on a move to Al-Ettifaq, teaming up with Anfield great Steven Gerrard, who recently became manager of the side.
However, it is uncertain his current position seeing the litany of signings made this summer.
Riyad Mahrez will become the second departure from Manchester City this summer, having already seen the exit of IIkay Gundogan to Barcelona.
Kyle Walker and Bernado Silva are also reportedly nearing the exit door, while the future of Aymeric Laporte and Joao Cancelo is uncertain.