Transfer Rumor Roundup: Mahrez to Barcelona, Wijnaldum to Liverpool
Riyad Mahrez is set for a dream move to Barcelona, according to The Sun in the UK.
Mahrez, 25, was named the PFA Player of the Year for 2015-16 as his 17 goals and 11 assists sealed an incredible title win for Leicester City.
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However the Algerian winger has been linked with some massive teams across Europe since January with Arsenal, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain all said to be interested in signing him. Now, it seems as though Barcelona is willing to splash the cash to sign the man called the “Algerian Messi” back in his homeland.
This is just the latest in a long line of rumors about Mahrez as reports linking the former Le Havre player with a move away from the King Power Stadium have intensified since N’Golo Kante was sold to Chelsea. This report also claims that Mahrez has turned down a new contract offer from Leicester this weekend, while Catalan outlet Sport says Barcelona is Mahrez’s preferred destination. Mahrez still has three years to run on his current deal but with other stars of their title success leaving, he may see the writing on the wall.
Jamie Vardy turned down a move to Arsenal and signed a new deal at Leicester but with Kante gone, could Mahrez aim to cash in and head to one of the biggest clubs on the planet to play in the UEFA Champions League every seaosn and challenge for trophies alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez?
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It would be yet another tough one for Leicester’s fans to take, especially after their sensational campaign last season and a spot in the UCL this season, but this move wouldn’t be about money for Mahrez. Sure, he will probably get an increase in wages but how many people actually get the chance to play for Barca and how many people actually turn that down? The answer to the second question: not many.
Georginio Wijnaldum could be heading back to the Premier League.
The Dutch midfielder, 25, was one of the bright spots for Newcastle United in 2015-16 and scored 11 times in his debut season in England. With Newcastle relegated to the Championship, Wijnaldum is unlikely to want to scrap it out in England’s second-tier and the Dutch international is attracting serious attentions from several PL clubs.
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Everton, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked with a move for the attacking midfielder but the Telegraph believe Liverpool are at the front of the queue and they will offer over $25 million.
11 - Georginio Wijnaldum became the first player in PL history to score 11+ goals in a season with each goal being scored at home. Comfort.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 18, 2016
Newcastle are said to want over $35 million for Wijnaldum but the former PSV Eindhoven star only joined the Magpies last summer for $18.5 million and if he leaves he will bring in a sizable profit for Rafael Benitez’s club.
Liverpool already has the likes of Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho in the attacking midfield areas but Wijnaldum is a slightly different player who possesses more power and is able to play in two-way roles out wide or in the center.
Word of warning: expect Wijnaldum to score plenty of goals at home but struggle away. All 11 of his goals in the PL last season came at St. James’ Park.