Manchester City remain hopeful of concluding deals for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, the former PFA Player of the Year, and Napoli midfielder Jorginho, one of last season’s top midfielders in Serie A.
Both deals have progressed sluggishly, but there is currently no indication that either will collapse. The Mahrez deal is thought to have been delayed by agent fees and the possible inclusion of Patrick Roberts, while Napoli have played hardball over Jorginho, but club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has said outright that he believes a deal can be done.
After becoming the first team to ever reach 100 points in the Premier League, City will be taking a considered approach on the transfer market, according to chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, recognising the squad is already one of the strongest in the world. But a couple of changes are to be expected in an effort to boost their Champions League prospects; succeeding domestically and in Europe at the same time requires tremendous depth. Given that they abandoned their pursuit of Fred, allowing him to join rivals United, they have persisted for Pep’s new first choice, Napoli’s Jorginho, resisting the undoubted temptation to walk away. If City can’t reach a deal with Napoli, Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic is the most likely addition as stated by SportsBettingDime.
Mahrez would bring an extra attacking threat to a top-heavy squad, but one which Guardiola has long been looking to add one new face to. Alexis Sanchez was pursued last year and again in January, before United flashed the cash and made him the best-paid player in Premier League history. City then turned to Mahrez, but Leicester’s valuation of £90million was unrealistic, leading to the unhappy Algerian going on strike. This summer, the Foxes are ready to do business at a more reasonable price.
If Txiki Begiristain can get a deal over the line, Jorginho will replace the outgoing (and outspoken) Yaya Touré, who Guardiola had little faith in last season, leading to Fernandinho making 48 appearances, despite being well into his 30s. Jorginho’s arrival will ensure more rest for Fernandinho and also mean there is a successor in place.
Beyond Mahrez and Jorginho, there is little sign of activity. A move for a centre-back has been rumoured, with Ajax sensation Matthijs de Ligt, the most commonly linked, but it appears that Mahrez and Jorginho will be the only two major signings for now at least. With a big budget at his disposal, Guardiola could yet to add another big face to his talented squad as the summer progresses.