Leicester City are demanding £65 million for Manchester City target Riyad Mahrez and are looking at possible replacements if their asking price is met, sources have told ESPN FC.
Mahrez has handed in a transfer request at Leicester as Manchester City are trying to beat the deadline to bring him to the Etihad Stadium and have already seen a couple of bids rejected by Leicester.
In the wake of Leicester rejecting Manchester City’s opening bids Mahrez has handed in a transfer request at Leicester as he tries to force a move away from the King Power Stadium.
Leicester are reluctant to lose the Algerian star and are under no pressure to cash-in on the 26-year-old.
However, sources have told ESPN FC that Leicester officials are now drawing up a list of possible replacements who could help fill the void should Mahrez leave before Wednesday’s 11 p.m. deadline.
Mahrez has held a long-term desire to move to a bigger club and handed in a transfer request last summer as he tried to leave Leicester.
Despite interest from Serie A side Roma, Mahrez ended up staying at Leicester following the closure of the summer transfer window and the skilful attacker has impressed this season for Claude Puel’s men.
Manchester City have stepped up their interest in Mahrez after losing winger Leroy Sane for between six to seven weeks with an ankle ligament injury, but it remains to be seen if they will go to £65m to land Mahrez.
Peter O’Rourke is ESPN FC’s transfer news correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @SportsPeteO.