Barcelona reportedly agree £46 million fee for Premier League superstar
What's the story?
Barcelona have been heavily linked with a big money move for Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, but now latest reports from Spain and England claim that the Blaugrana have tied up a deal for Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian was even given permission by the national team to finalise his transfer.
As Algeria prepare for a World Cup qualifier against Zambia, the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) confirmed on Wednesday that it has granted the 26-year-old attacker permission to formalise his playing future.
Spanish daily AS is confident that Barcelona have the deal in the bag although Arsenal, Roma and Manchester United are also said to be interested.
In case you didn't know...
The Algerian's future has been subject to intense speculation this season especially after he made it clear that he wanted a transfer. Now, with teams ready to pay Leicester City's asking price of £46 million, Mahrez might finally get his desire of playing at a top European club.
Barcelona's primary target remains Phillipe Coutinho, but with Liverpool determined to keep hold of the Brazilian star, it looks like the Blaugrana have turned their attention towards the tricky winger.
Also, La Liga's deadline day ends on September 1st, and the Catalan giants have 24 hours more than the Premier League clubs to tie up their deals.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona suffered a huge blow after they lost Neymar to PSG, but things have started looking up for them in the last few days. After completing the deal for Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele, the Blaugrana are confident of securing at least 2 more signings with Coutinho and now Mahrez expected to be the big arrivals.
Blessed with excellent dribbling skills and technical ability, Mahrez on his day can be unstoppable and it will certainly be intriguing to see how the Algerian will face up to the challenges of playing in a truly global club.
Leicester City are said to have multiple offers for the winger, but Barcelona will be confident of warding off interest from Premier League sides Manchester United and Arsenal.
Still only 26, Mahrez certainly has the potential to become a world class star in a top team like Barcelona. However, with other Premier League sides also interested in the Algerian, it will be interesting to see where Mahrez chooses to go and further his career.
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