Manchester City want to make Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez their first signing of the summer and could wrap the transfer up before the end of the week, Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail reports.
Txiki Begiristain is locked in negotiations with Foxes chiefs and is edging closer to an agreement, with the structure of payment over a £75million deal for the Algerian being discussed.
Mahrez, the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year, will become the club’s record signing, breaking the £57million handed over to Athletic Bilbao in January for Aymeric Laporte.
A number of wingers have been considered, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey on the final shortlist as exclusively revealed by City Watch in February.
Pep Guardiola decided on Mahrez, who at 27 is in his prime years, and will offer competition and a different option to younger wingers Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané and Bernardo Silva.
With Algeria failing to qualify for the World Cup, he would get a full pre-season with Guardiola and travel to America while many of the Blues’ World Cup stars are having extended breaks.
Mahrez could be joined by Jorginho, whose Italy side also failed to reach this summer’s World Cup, although there still appears to be a way to go in negotiations with Napoli, and Chelsea are said to be lurking with intent.
Pick up a limited edition Manchester City Premier League Champions shirt – while stocks last!