Algerian footballer Riyad Mahrez has signed a five-year contract worth £60 million ($79.5 million) with Premier League Champions Manchester City.
The English club has been negotiating with the Leicester City for months to facilitate the winger’s transfer. Following the announcement, Mahrez said to CityTV: “I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola…Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a perfect for me”.
The player who will take the no. 26 shirt described the city’s performances in the last season as “outstanding”. He said: “They’re redefining the English game and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Born in France, the 27-year-old Mahrez began his professional career at Le Havre where he made 67 appearances over a three-year period. He was signed by Leicester for £400,000 in 2014 and helped the club to qualify for the Premier League by the end of his first season.
With Mahrez being their top scorer, Leicester City also won the Premier League title in 2016. He was named the PFA Player of the Year after scoring 17 goals in 37 matches and was named the African Player of the Year by The Confederation of African Football. During his time with Leicester, Mahrez scored 48 goals in 180 appearances.
“In the four-and-a-half years since Riyad signed for the Foxes, he has played his way into the hearts of all Leicester City supporters,” the club said in a statement.
“His moments of magic will live long in the memory as the Club and its fans continue to build a long-term legacy for the success delivered by the teams to which Riyad so memorably contributed.”
Mahrez is a key member of the Algerian national team and has played for the team at both the 2014 and 2015 FIFA World Cup finals along with the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mahrez was also ranked among the “Top 10 Arab Football Players Worldwide 2017” by Forbes Middle East.