MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City has signed Riyad Mahrez for a club-record $80 million as it further strengthens its team after winning the Premier League title.
The 27-year-old Algeria winger was an integral part of Leicester’s astonishing run to the title in 2016, but has been pushing to leave the central England club for a year.
Pep Guardiola’s City, which won the league by 19 points in May, confirmed Tuesday evening that Mahrez has signed a five-year contract.
Mahrez will go down as one of the bargains of the Premier League era, having joined Leicester for a reported $530,000 from French club Le Havre in 2014.
Scoring 17 goals in Leicester’s title-winning campaign saw Mahrez voted as player of the year in England in 2016.
“I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola. They’re redefining the English game and I wanted to be a part of it,” Mahrez said on City’s website.
“Watching them from afar has been a pleasure. Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a perfect for me, and City’s performances last season were outstanding … I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.”
City director of football Txiki Begiristain said Mahrez “beats defenders and creates space … We’re sure he will bring additional attacking quality to our squad.”
Mahrez helped Leicester to a shock league title, and then played a major role in the club reaching the Champions League quarterfinals the following season.
He made 180 appearances for Leicester, scoring 48 goals.