June 19, 2024

Riyad Mahrez is set to leave Manchester City for a move to Al-Ahli following a €35 million deal between the clubs

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Riyad Mahrez is set to sign for Al-Ahli this week after the Saudi Arabian side agreed a €35 million deal with Manchester City. CBS Sports indicated Sunday that a deal was close and Al Ahli are quite optimistic about booking a medical for the Algerian, one that is set to happen in the coming days after both clubs finalize the terms of the transfer.

Mahrez is set to earn around €30 million a year with the Jeddah-based club, one of four owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and has a three-year deal with the option for a further 12 months. CBS Sports revealed Al Ahli’s talks with Algeria on June 7, when club president Waleed Muaath flew to London to sell the five-time Premier League champion on the move.

Mahrez was left out of City’s squad for their pre-season games in Japan to allow him to complete the move. The 32-year-old joins former Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Roberto Firmino, formerly of Liverpool, on the Al-Ahli roster. The club’s spending on big name European talent will not stop there as Allan Saint-Maximin is in talks to join a deal that would attract significant eyes across the continent, his current club Newcastle United also majority owned by PIF.

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey is also on their radar, although they are not expected to formalize their interest at the moment. The Gunners would only approve a deal for Ghana if they received a big fee and were able to replace him. Al-Ahli have tried to get Partey’s camp to move to Saudi Arabia but he has so far not indicated that he would be willing to push for that move.

Meanwhile, Mahrez is a significant coup for the Saudi Arabia Pro League. CBS Sports can reveal that when PIF asked the quartet of clubs they took over in June – Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad the other three – to submit a list of their main targets for the summer, Manchester City forward Al-Ahli ranked second. At the top of his wish list was and is Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric and, although the Croatian signed a new contract at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, sources in Saudi Arabia believe that PIF could test president Florentino Perez with a big offer before the transfer window closes.

Meanwhile talks between Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe and a club from Saudi Arabia have ended. The Ivory Coast international was offered a package that included a net salary of €5 million as well as significant bonuses but the club have now moved on to other targets.

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