Riyad Mahrez is on Real Madrid’s radar, with contact already established between the Spanish club and representatives of the Manchester City forward.
French outlet Foot Mercato claims Real Madrid are keen on signing the 29-year-old this summer despite club president Florentino Perez warning that this transfer window would be a quiet one for Los Blancos.
Mahrez has three years left on his Manchester City contract and it is yet unknown if the Etihad Stadium outfit would be willing to sell the Algerian.
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It’s reported that Real Madrid see Mahrez as a potential replacement for Gareth Bale and will only move for the City midfielder if the Welsh winger can be moved on this summer, with a return to the Premier League widely mooted.
Since signing from Leicester City in the summer of 2018, Mahrez has been a key figure for Manchester City, making 50 appearances in all competitions last season.
Real Madrid have countless options on the left side of their attack (Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior), but very little on the right side, at least with Bale exiled from the first team.
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This goes some way to explaining why they might be having a look at Mahrez. The Algerian would plug a gap in their side and it’s easy to see why Zinedine Zidane might want a diminutive, creative attacker like him in his squad.
But with Mahrez now 29, his arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu would be a short term solution. What’s more, the noises out of the club all summer have been that they don’t have much money to spend and are instead focused on riding their squad of ageing, overpaid players. How would the signing of Mahrez fit in with this?
Real Madrid boast an exceptional group of young players (see Martin Odegaard, Fede Valverde and the aforementioned Brazilian wingers Rodrygo and Vinicius), but an expensive move for a player who will turn 30 in February - adding him to a frontline of Karim Benzema (32) and Hazard (29) - might be a little short-sighted.
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