Pep Guardiola sidestepped questions over Manchester City's link with Riyad Mahrez but admitted he holds an interest in a lot of 'good players'
Pep Guardiola has refused to be drawn on Manchester City’s link with Riyad Mahrez but admitted he holds an interest in a lot of “good players”.
The Algeria international has handed in an official transfer request at Leicester with City believed to have made a third bid, thought to be £55m, Sky Sports News understands.
Mahrez could follow Tuesday’s club-record £57m acquisition of Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao and Guardiola accepts they want to “find solutions”, with the news Leroy Sane has been ruled out for up to six weeks through ankle ligament damage, with the club still fighting for four cups.
“I have interest in a lot of players and good players – there are many,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference ahead of City’s visit of West Brom on Wednesday.
“The transfer window [closes] on the 31st. We spoke many times with the club about what is the best for the players we have and the amount of players we have. Right now we have just three strikers with Raheem (Sterling). We don’t have more for the next month and a half.
“Leroy (Sane) and Gabriel (Jesus) are coming back in the next five-six weeks so we don’t have too much and we play every three days. We have a lot [of matches] but we want to find solutions.”
When pressed over City’s likelihood of securing deal for Mahrez, who also handed in a transfer request at the King Power Stadium in May 2017, Guardiola sidestepped the issue again and referred to the arrival of Laporte.
“Right now I say the same thing as I said in the case of Alexis Sanchez and Laporte that here is not the best place to talk about that,” Guardiola said.
“The move for Laporte has happened because it is just a [release] clause that has to be paid.
“When you have to negotiate with other examples [of transfers] in the past it is always complicated.”
Get Sky Sports from £18 a month and watch the latest transfers live in action for their new teams