Riyad Mahrez is set to secure a move to English champions Manchester City from Leicester for a reported fee of £60million ($79million) seven months after the Foxes turned down an offer from City, according to British media reports on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Algerian international — whose performances in Leicester’s astonishing title win in 2016 earned him the players player of the year award — is according to Sky Sports News due to undergo a medical at City later this week.
Mahrez — who signed from French side Le Havre for just £400,000 in 2014 — sat out two matches following Leicester’s demanding £80million for him after declining a £50million offer plus young winger Patrick Roberts, who is valued at £15million, from City during the January transfer window.
However, both Press Association Sport and Sky Sports report that with Leicester having signed highly-rated James Maddison fron second tier Norwich City for £24million and with a month to go to the falling of the transfer window curtain they are now willing to sell him.
Leicester have allowed him extra time off since Mahrez — who has made 179 appearances for Leicester, scoring 48 times — went off on international duty for his country in June.
Mahrez along with striker Jamie Vardy and French midfielder N’Golo Kante became unlikely household names during the title winning season as Italian manager Claudio Ranieri engineered one of the greatest sporting surprises of all time.
Mahrez scored 17 goals in that campaign, and then having signed a four year contract played a major role in the club reaching the Champions League quarter finals in 2016/17 as he contributed four goals.
Serie A side AS Roma subsequently came after him last summer but were left frustrated as several offers with the highest reportedly £32million fell well short of Leicester’s expectations.
Manchester City have also been linked with Napoli midfielder Jorginho with the Italy international reportedly left out of their pre-season training camp squad.