MANCHESTER CITY have clinched the signing of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester for a club-record fee of £60million.
Mahrez will again wear the number 26 shirt at City and has signed a five-year contract with the Etihad club.
The 27-year-old Algerian claims that Pep Guardiola’s brand of attacking football is “redefining the English game” – and admits he just had to be a part of it.
Mahrez said: “I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola.
“Watching them from afar has been a pleasure. Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a perfect for me, and City’s performances last season were outstanding. They’re redefining the English game and I wanted to be a part of it.
“I think we can be successful over the coming years and I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.”
City had been in talks with Leicester all summer but the deal was delayed due to a big pay-off that Mahrez believed he was owed by the Foxes.
The fee paid for Mahrez is £3m more than the £57m that the Premier League champions paid to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao in January.
It also means that Leicester have made an incredible £59.6m profit on Mahrez, who they signed from French club Le Havre in 2014 for just £400,000.
Mahrez will now hope to contend for more medals at City, having won the Premier League with the Foxes in 2016 as he was named the PFA Player of the Year.
City director of football Txiki Begiristain added: “Riyad is a hugely talented player. He beats defenders and creates space.
“Over the past few years, he has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting players.
“We’re sure he will bring additional attacking quality to our squad.”
The signing spells danger who City’s rivals as boss Guardiola strengthens a side that cruised to the title last season.
They hit 106 goals and notched up 100 points to finish 19 points clear of rivals Manchester United in a record-breaking season.
Mahrez will compete with attacking midfielders Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva to start for Guardiola.
And another quality player will give Guardiola the chance to rotate and keep his key men fit as City battle on four fronts again next season.
Englishman Patrick Roberts, 21, is one player who looks further away from getting a look in now, having spent last season on loan at Celtic.
Leicester showed an interest in City wideman Roberts in part exchange which slowed negotiations.
City have sold English keeper Angus Gunn, 22, to Southampton in a £13.5m deal.