City’s interest in the Algerian winger broke down in January when their £65m bid was rejected, with Leicester seeking an English club record fee of £95m for the 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year.
Mahrez subsequently submitted a written transfer request and didn’t turn up to Leicester training for a week, but eventually returned to the Foxes side as a substitute in their clash with City at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been the dominant force in English football this season, clinching the Premier League title with a record equalling five games to spare.
Along the way they have scored 102 league goals, and will break the Premier League record for most strikes in a single season if they hit two or more in their remaining games against Brighton and Southampton.
Guardiola feels that there is still room for improvement however, and has targeted making up to four summer signings. He is rumoured to be targeting reinforcements at centre back, as well as bringing in a holding midfielder and a wide player. The Times reports that Mahrez is City’s preferred choice for the latter position, with Monaco’s Thomas Lemar also under consideration.
Mahrez withdrew his transfer request after the January debacle but sought assurances from Leicester that the club would not stand in his way if City, or another suitor, tried to sign him in the summer transfer window.
His current contract takes him through to 2020, with Mahrez reportedly pocketing £120,000 a week – less than half of what City’s top-paid player Sergio Aguero earns.
Though his future remains up in the air, there is little doubt that Mahrez has been a revelation for Leicester since joining from French club Le Havre in 2014. The Algerian played a starring role in the Foxes’ Premier League title winning campaign, finishing the season with 17 goals.