Leicester will insist on a cash-only deal for Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City after ditching their interest in Blues winger Patrick Roberts, the Mirror reports.
Talks between the two clubs over Mahrez featured Roberts, 21, as being a makeweight in the deal, but with the Foxes landing James Maddison from Norwich, they no longer want to sign the England youth international.
That means Man City will have to pay a huge fee for Mahrez, with reports from Algeria suggesting Leicester wanted €70million (£66million) and Roberts from City in a deal worth €90million (£79.2million).
Mahrez is desperate to quit the King Power Stadium and link up with Pep Guardiola after seeing a January deal collapse over Leicester’s demands. His failed move led to him going on strike temporarily before returning to action for Leicester against, if his wish comes true, his next club.
The 27-year-old is said to be disappointed by the club he helped guide to the Premier League title two years ago, having expected them to grant him a less complicated exit after his service.
Despite an agreement having previously been close, no fee has currently been agreed between Manchester City and Leicester for the Algerian international, and this one may replace the Jorginho deal – which is about to conclude – as a drawn out transfer saga.
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