According to reports, Manchester City are in fresh talks with Leicester City about signing winger Riyad Mahrez.
The Premier League champions backed out then but they maintained their interest in the Algerian playmaker.
After enduring a quiet 2016/17 season, Mahrez recaptured his best form this campaign. However, on the whole, the Algerian was a mixed bag as he expressed his disappointment at Leicester for not allowing his sale to City in January.
City possess a wealth of talent in their squad and Mahrez would certainly bolster their attacking options next season. But it would be foolish for City to spend so much on Mahrez, who has had an inconsistent season at King Power Stadium.
Keeping that in mind, here are the three Mahrez alternatives City must consider signing this summer.
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann has been heavily linked with a summer move to Barcelona but in every possible way, Manchester City must hijack Griezmann’s move to Barcelona.
One of the best attackers in Europe, Griezmann would add so much to this Manchester City side even with the presence of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, both of whom were in exceptional form in the recently concluded campaign.
Quick, intelligent and a clinical finisher, the Frenchman has the ability to play anywhere across the attack. Sterling and Sane’s pace and directness would complement Griezmann’s creativity in the final third.
The 27-year-old has an eye for a pass and thrives when the squad around him is built with flexibility and pace in mind.
Thomas Lemar (AS Monaco)
Thomas Lemar rose to prominence in the 2016/17 season when he helped Monaco to the Ligue 1 title and Champions League semi-finals. He was in the middle of a lot of Premier League interest last summer, including interest from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.
However, the Frenchman stayed put with Monaco and has said that he is open for all offers in summer. That should be enough for Manchester City to make a move for the talented Lemar.
Lemar is an attacking midfielder who can play either through the middle or on the wings. While he has been impressive in various attacking positions, it has to be noted that his best performances have come when he has been deployed on the left-wing.
The Frenchman possesses a great left foot that he has used effectively to breach the toughest of defences. He is silky on and off the ball, has fantastic positional awareness and is extremely quick in spotting a pass. Fast and intelligent, a versatile attacker in Lemar must not be ignored by Guardiola at any cost.
Nabil Fekir (Lyon)
Following Alexandre Lacazette’s departure to Arsenal last summer, Nabil Fekir stepped up and took the Ligue 1 by storm.
With a sweet left-foot to boast of, Fekir is one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe. The Frenchman has scored some absolute crackers this season, most notably the stunning free-kick in the 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain.
Just 24 years old, the French star will only improve with the hard work he is putting in. Fekir is an immense footballing talent and due to his versatility, he can play at the wings if needed to.
Fekir, just being 24, is not only technical but mature both inside and outside the box. Guardiola must look to poach the Lyon star as quickly as possible.