According to an exclusive update courtesy of French news outlet le10sport, Man City are targeting AC Milan star Ismael Bennacer and could utilise his Algerian international teammate Riyad Mahrez to help smooth negotiations.
Bennacer, reportedly on manager Pep Guardiola’s radar, is also being courted by Ligue 1 giants Paris-Saint Germain who have equal spending power – but City star Mahrez has a link to Bennacer through the pair being teammates for Algeria.
As per le10sport, the Sky Blues may use this friendship to help give them advantage over PSG in the race for Bennacer’s €50 million (£45.6 million) signature – especially as midfield colossus Fernandinho has entered the final year of his contract.
The Brazilian, who has become a fan favourite since signing for City in a £30 million deal from Shakhtar Donetsk, put pen-to-paper on a one-year contract extension back in January – keeping him at the Etihad until 2021.
However, looking ahead to the future, Txiki Begiristain and co may see Bennacer as a replacement going by the 22-year-old’s tenacity in midfield.
Described as a ‘champion‘ by none other than superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s clear the midfielder has all the hallmarks to be a success in Manchester – with the club now looking to utilise any potential attractions to make the move happen.
Mahrez, as per le10sport, may play a heavy role in convincing his compatriot to swap the San Siro for Eastlands.