Manchester City seals deal with Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez

Manchester City have completed the signing of attacking midfielder Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, the clubs announced on Tuesday.

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The Algerian international has signed a five-year deal to become their first recruit since they won the Premier League.

Mahrez,27, who has signed a five-year contract, moved for a fee of £60 million (about Kshs 7 billion) – a club record for Man City -and will wear the No. 26 shirt.

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Riyad told Manchester City’s website;

‘I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola. Watching them from afar has been a pleasure.’

‘Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a 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…’

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While the City director of football, Txiki Begiristain, said;

‘Riyad is a hugely talented player. He beats defenders and creates space. Over the past few years, he has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting players.’

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Here Riyad Mahrez is greeted by manager Pep Guardiola on his first day as they met at Manchester City’s training ground on Tuesday.

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Guardiola would ‘Pep up’ Premier League, says Gerrard

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard on Wednesday said “world-class” Pep Guardiola would be a great addition to the Premier League after the much sought-after Bayern Munich boss said he wanted to coach in England.

Guardiola, who will turn 45 this month, said Tuesday that the reason he was leaving the German giants at the end of the season was because he wanted to coach in England.

“Pep Guardiola is a world-class manager,” Gerrard told reporters in Sydney ahead of a Liverpool Legends game on Thursday.

“It’s looking like he is going to be coming to the Premier League which is great for us.”

Gerrard, clearly a fan of the ex-Barcelona boss, is currently reading “Pep Confidential”, a book about Guardiola’s first season at Bayern.

The LA Galaxy midfielder, 35, has his own ambitions in management and is working on his coaching qualifications prior to his expected retirement from playing this year.

He said he had a “positive conversation” with current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and was keen to remain involved with his hometown club in any capacity.

Gerrard left the English Premier League side for the Los Angeles Galaxy last year, and has been training on Merseyside during the MLS close season.

“I’ve been told I’ve been welcomed back at the club which is great for me because I’ve been at Liverpool since I was eight years of age. I love the club,” he said.

“I certainly had a positive conversation with Jurgen Klopp and he made me feel very welcome when I train with the team.”

But Gerrard added that he was aware of the challenges of transiting from playing to coaching.

“I think you see the reason why a lot of top players don’t make a successful manager because it’s a completely different role,” Gerrard said.

“The exciting thing is no one knows how good I’ll be… we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m certainly going to get as much experience and as much qualifications as I can under me belt and we’ll see whether I’m good enough if one day I take the plunge.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Pep Guardiola says he will never return to Barcelona manager role

Pep Guardiola, the Bayern Munich coach, says he will never return to take charge of former club Barcelona. “In principle I won’t coach Barça again,” he told Mundo Deportivo. “I think that there are cycles in life and that mine [at the club] finished.”

Guardiola, who was in Catalonia last weekend to vote in an informal consultation on the region’s independence, managed at Camp Nou from 2008 until 2012 after a playing career which included 11 years at the club. During his time in charge his side won La Liga three times, two Champions League titles, two Copa del Reys, and two each of the Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup.