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Manchester City make contact with Barcelona star as Riyad Mahrez replacement



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Manchester City have identified Barcelona forward Raphinha as a potential replacement for Riyad Mahrez.

The treble-winners are preparing for the potential exit of Mahrez, as the 32-year-old closes in on a move to Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli, despite Manchester City rejecting an opening bid from the Middle Eastern club.

Manchester City are expected to replace the outgoing Algerian international with a new signing, as Pep Guardiola prepares to lose a forward who has scored 78 goals during his five-years at the Etihad Stadium.

Mahrez scored 15 goals for the Sky Blues last season, including a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United at Wembley Stadium in April.

Manchester City have made just the one signing so far this summer, with former Chelsea and Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic replacing Ilkay Gundogan, who moved to Barcelona on a free transfer.

The Premier League and European champions are also working on a deal to sign RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, however Manchester City director Txiki Begiristain is also claimed to have made contact regarding a fresh deal, for Barcelona star Raphinha.

Santi Aouna claims that first contacts have been made between Txiki Begiristain and Barcelona director Deco, with Manchester City having identified the 26-year-old as a replacement for Mahrez.

Pep Guardiola likes the profile of the Barcelona forward, and the Brazilian winger is one name the Blues are considering.

Raphinha, who moved to La Liga from Leeds United, was directly involved in 22 goals in 50 appearances for Barcelona last season.

Barcelona are willing to listen to offers for the forward, with financial issues still hugely impacting the Catalan club.

During his last season with Leeds United in the Premier League, Raphinha scored 11 goals in 35 league appearances.

Manchester City have previously been linked with Serie A duo Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Rafael Leão, however both players recently signed new long-term contracts.

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