Riyad Mahrez is confident he can take his game to another level after finally joining Manchester City from Leicester.
The Algeria winger, 27, has been a long-term target for City, and moves to the Premier League champions on a five-year-deal.
The terms of the transfer were not revealed in Tuesday night’s announcement, but the fee has been reported to be in the region of £60million. Leicester said in a statement the deal was a “club-record”.
“I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola. Watching them from afar has been a pleasure,” Mahrez said on the City website.
“Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is perfect for me, and City’s performances last season were outstanding. They’re redefining the English game and I wanted to be a part of it.
“I think we can be successful over the coming years and I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.”
Leicester rejected City’s offer of £50m plus winger Patrick Roberts – valued at £15m – in January, and Mahrez missed two games during the saga.
Mahrez was given extra time off by the Foxes after playing in Algeria’s international games in June and had been set to return to pre-season training before confirmation the protracted transfer had finally been concluded.
City director of football Txiki Begiristain is confident Mahrez will prove a valuable addition as the champions look to mount a successful defence of their Premier League title and succeed in Europe.
“Riyad is a hugely talented player. He beats defenders and creates space,” Begiristain said on the club’s website.
“Over the past few years, he has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting players. We’re sure he will bring additional attacking quality to our squad.”
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 10, 2018
Leicester had already brought in cover with the £24m arrival of attacking midfielder James Maddison from Norwich.
Mahrez helped Leicester to a shock Premier League title triumph in 2016, scoring 17 times, and then played a major role in the club reaching the Champions League quarter-finals during the following campaign.
The Algerian, who signed from Le Havre for £400,000 during 2014, leaves the Foxes having made 180 appearances, scoring 48 times.
Despite the saga having at times taken its toll on the relationship between club and player, Leicester wished Mahrez well for the challenges ahead with Manchester City.
A statement on the Leicester website read: “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.
“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.
“Riyad leaves with the best wishes of everybody who has worked with him at Leicester City Football Club. He will be welcomed back to King Power Stadium as both an opposition player and a friend of the club.”
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has signed a new contract through to 2021, the Premier League club have announced.
The 44-year-old has extended his stay following a successful first season at Molineux, which saw Wolves promoted to the top flight after finishing nine points clear at the top of the Championship.
Coaches Rui Pedro Silva, Rui Barbosa, Antonio Dias, Joao Lapa and Julio Figueroa will also sign new deals and will be joined ahead of the 2018/19 campaign by Ian Cathro, who signed a three-year contract.
Let’s do it again…
— Wolves (@Wolves) July 10, 2018
West Ham have announced the signing of Jack Wilshere on a three-year contract following his release by Arsenal.
The midfielder, 26, left the Gunners after 17 years when his contract expired last month.
Born in Hertfordshire, Wilshere grew up in a family of Irons supporters. “It feels good, it feels special,” he said on West Ham’s website.
“Many people know that I’ve had a special bond with this club growing up.
“People will have seen the picture of me in a West Ham shirt and I’ve got good memories of my childhood supporting West Ham, watching them at Upton Park.
“It feels good and of course my family and a few of my friends are West Ham fans so everyone’s buzzing.”
Wilshere, who won the FA Cup twice with Arsenal and has 34 England caps, is set to fly out to Switzerland to link up with new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini’s squad at their pre-season training camp.
West Ham director of football Mario Husillos added: “Manuel and I identified him as a target as soon as we joined the club and we are delighted to have succeeded in securing Jack’s signature above a number of other teams.
“Jack is a player with vast experience and quality at the highest level, having played all of his career in the Premier League.
“On the biggest stage, he has shown that he has game-changing abilities, as well as having the creativity and intelligence to make a real difference to our squad.”
Borussia Dortmund’s Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko is another reported target, with a deal in the region of £17.5million said to be in the pipeline.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) July 9, 2018
More to follow…