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Media Watch

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Media Watch: City ‘closing in’ on Mahrez?

WANTED MAN?: It's claimed City will rekindle interest in January target Riyad Mahrez over the summer...

WANTED MAN?: It's claimed City will rekindle interest in January target Riyad Mahrez over the summer...

Another day, another heap of transfer tales…

Every day, news outlets from all corners of the globe vow to possess ‘the latest’ on the numerous names linked with moves to pastures new.

At this stage of the football calendar, such rumours are rife... So, what’s hitting the headlines this Tuesday morning?

Well, the long-linked Riyad Mahrez is apparently ‘close’ to securing a £75million switch to the Etihad Stadium, according to the Daily Mail, who also claim to have an update on the Jorginho speculation.

Writes Jack Gaughan: “The champions are closing in on a deal for Leicester City winger Mahrez, with director of football Txiki Begiristain edging closer to agreeing terms. The structure of the fee to be paid to Leicester is still being negotiated.

Guardiola hoped to land the 27-year-old in January, with the Algerian falling out with Leicester before returning to the team.

“Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey, 20, has also been considered, with Guardiola mindful of the workload placed upon Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane.

“The two City wingers have played 103 games between them for club and country since August and both are heading to the World Cup in Russia next month.

“The signing of Mahrez would be the first major piece of business completed this summer as City again look to set the pace.

“Mahrez, not at the World Cup, should enjoy a full pre-season to acclimatise to Guardiola’s methods, with City heading for Chicago, New York and Miami in July. Napoli midfielder Jorginho will also be in the US should City secure his signature in the coming weeks.

“Sources in Italy told Sportsmail last week that talks between the two clubs had been positive, but the clubs have yet to agree a fee for the central midfielder.

“City recently walked away from deals for Alexis Sanchez and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred because of the potential cost.”

Regarding Jorginho, the Mirror state the Blues have had a £39million bid rejected for the Italy midfielder.

David Anderson alleges: “City have made Jorginho one of their top summer targets and aim to secure his signing before the World Cup starts.

“However Napoli have rebuffed their opening bid of €45million and want €60million or £52million.

“Former coach Maurizio Sarri is expected to be appointed as Chelsea’s next boss and the Serie A side believe the Italian will want to take Jorginho with him to Stamford Bridge.

“Napoli feel this strengthens their hand in negotiations with City and insist the Premier League champions will not get Jorginho for less than their asking price.

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“City want Jorginho to take some of the load off Fernandinho’s shoulders and remain confident of getting their man.”

Elsewhere, the Manchester Evening News maintain their belief City are eyeing Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe.

Simon Bajkowski explains: “Mbappe wasn't expected to be available so soon after his move to PSG but reports over the weekend suggest the Parisians may have to offload one of their two biggest assets if they are hit by FFP sanctions.”

Finally, it’s suggested City and United are set to do battle over the signing of Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar, despite assertions the player is not for sale.

Richard Fay, also of the Manchester Evening News, reports: “Il Corriere dello Sport claim both Manchester clubs have tabled £60m bids for the defender as they look to secure a summer move.

“City are reportedly keen on a move and see the Slovakian international as a potential successor to captain Vincent Kompany.

“United are also understood to be monitoring a summer move with Jose Mourinho rumoured to view the centre-back as a great partner for Eric Bailly.

“However, the report also suggests Inter manager Luciano Spalletti remains adamant the player will not be sold in the summer and has instructed the club to refuse any approaches.

“According to the report Skriniar is happy to stay at Inter for another season and is hungry to gain some Champions League experience.”

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