Happy UEFA Champions League Final Eve Manchester City supporters. It’s time to take a break from treble talk and pre-match analysis, and instead dive into transfer narratives. In this edition, we discuss two players who could be leaving the club: Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan.
Let’s start with the Algerian National Team Captain, who could be moving on to Saudi Arabia this summer.
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Kickoff: Sat June 10, 8pm, Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey
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Mahrez, 32, who came over from Leicester City in 2018, has been offered a contract worth €100 million plus bonuses, from Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli.
That’s according to ESPN, who report Al Ahli “have indicated they would offer Mahrez €50m+ bonuses per season on a two-year contract with the option of a third year.”
It’s easy to understand why Mahrez wants out, the wings and attacking midfield at Man City is very crowded right now and has been for some time.
He still has two years left on his deal at The Etihad, but the time might be right for him to move to The Kingdom. The Saudi Pro League recruited Cristiano Ronaldo in the winter, Karim Benzema just moved over this week and N’Golo Kante could be on the way.
Like MLS with Lionel Messi, they seem to be a top flight that is making some moves.
Moving on to Gundogan, the FA Cup Final Man of the Match is just about to see his contract expire with the Cityzens. Thus he’ll be available on a free transfer, although City still hope to re-sign him.
If they don’t, the German midfield maestro will be plying his trade elsewhere, and Paris Saint-Germain are interested, according to L’Equipe. However, it is thought that FC Barcelona could be leading the way right now for the 32-year-old (yes, he’s the same age as Mahrez.
Arsenal are said to be interested as well.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.