Manchester City could be about to break the African transfer record in a bid to sign Leicester City favourite Riyad Mahrez.
Sadio Mané became the continent’s most expensive player last month when Liverpool shelled out an initial GBP£34m to sign the Senegalese from Southampton.
But that figure could be toppled within weeks with City preparing a £40m offer for Algerian winger Mahrez, according to sources in France.
The 25-year-old was virtually unknown when he arrived at Leicester from Le Havre for just £450,000 in 2014 but the star has risen dramatically in the two years which have followed.
Mahrez played a key role as Leicester stunned world football by winning the Premier League title last season, scoring 17 goals and setting up 11 more for Claudio Ranieri’s fairytale Foxes.
One of his most memorable strikes of the campaign came against Manchester City, as Leicester went five points clear at the top of the table with a 3-1 February win, during which he also set up Robert Huth’s header.
And Mahrez’s performance that day seems to have left a lasting impression on the Etihad Stadium club, who are now reportedly ready to firm up their interest with a bid.
New City boss Pep Guardiola has been working hard to land Schalke ace Leroy Sane this summer but the Spanish manager’s former employers Bayern Munich are also attempting to sign the 20-year-old.
And, according to France Football, Guardiola has a contingency plan in place should that move fall through, with £40m-rated Mahrez now on his radar.