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Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez a target for Al-Ahli?

Man City winger Riyad Mahrez a target for Al-Ahli?
© Reuters
Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ahli are allegedly interested in signing Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez this summer.

Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez has reportedly emerged as the latest Premier League player who could move to Saudi Arabia this summer.

Over the past weeks, clubs from the Saudi Pro League have been frequently linked with world-class stars, one of those deals being completed with Karim Benzema leaving Real Madrid for Al-Ittihad.

The nation's financial backers had hoped to see Lionel Messi follow suit, but the Barcelona legend has instead announced that he will be signing for MLS side Inter Miami.

Nevertheless, an increasing number of players based in England's top flight appear to be close to moving to the Middle East, with N'Golo Kante said to have accepted a lucrative deal to become Al-Ittihad's next arrival after Benzema.

Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha and Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore are also said to have proposals on the table, currently unsigned but under consideration.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring for Manchester City on January 19, 2023© Reuters

According to CBS Sports soccer correspondent James Benge, Mahrez has been identified as a transfer target for Al-Ahli.

The club president has allegedly made the trip to London in order to hold discussions over a potential deal for the Algeria international.

Unlike in the cases of the teams of the aforementioned players, Al-Ahli did not just compete for the top-flight title, instead earning promotion from the second tier in 2022-23.

However, they were Saudi Pro League champions in 2015-16 and runners-up as recently as 2017-18, the club now ready to strengthen their squad in order to become challengers in the future.

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their third goal with Jack Grealish on April 22, 2023© Reuters

Of their current crop, Ryad Boudebouz is their most notable player, the 33-year-old formerly of Montpellier, Real Betis and Saint-Etienne as well as an ex-international teammate of Mahrez.

From the perspective of the City winger, he now has two years left on his contract and an exit would realistically be considered by the Premier League and FA Cup winners if it was requested.

That said, the 32-year-old is still a key player under Pep Guardiola, contributing 15 goals and 13 assists from 47 appearances during the current campaign.

Mahrez is currently preparing for Saturday's Champions League final with Inter Milan as City attempt to achieve the first such treble of an English team since Manchester United did so in 1999.

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