Man City have pulled out of a potential move for Riyad Mahrez after balking at the asking price being quoted by Leicester City.
Muffled slightly by developments at Arsenal and Chelsea, City entered talks with the Foxes over Mahrez early on deadline day, entering a £45million offer for the Algerian forward.
The basic premise is that Pep Guardiola wanted Mahrez as cover for the injured Leroy Sane, who is set to miss at least six weeks after having his ankle butchered during the FA Cup win over Cardiff City at the weekend.
However, Leicester, understandably were looking to recoup a much, much higher fee as compensation for losing their best player and having zero time to replace him before the window shut.
They therefore held out for a £95million package, which prompted City to politely and respectfully draw negotiations to a close.
Overall package for Mahrez was £95m, which also included player going other way. Leicester proposed it. City weren’t prepared to go over £60m. As stated yesterday, wrong to say interest was reaction to Sane injury. Were after a forward much earlier, hence Sanchez interest
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) January 31, 2018
You can hardly blame Leicester for putting up the barricades, despite Mahrez reportedly informing the club of his desire to make the switch.
It’s a weird one from City’s perspective too, in that it all appeared to be ridiculously short-termist from their perspective.