Pep Guardiola: Manchester City powerless to stop Riyad Mahrez leaving

Pep Guardiola claims that Man City could not stop Mahrez from leaving

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City powerless to stop Riyad Mahrez leaving

Stephen Oladehinde 16:44 - 29.07.2023

After Manchester City failed to prevent Riyad Mahrez's departure, Pep Guardiola conceded that the Saudi Pro League's financial power can no longer be disregarded.

Premier League's top players, like Jordan Henderson, N'Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Edouard Mendy, and Allan Saint-Maximin, have also benefited from the wealth Saudi Arabia has to offer.

In addition, Mahrez has also made a £30 million transfer to Al-Ahli, where he is expected to make up to £750,000 a week.

More will follow, according to Guardiola, who has stated his desire to keep Mahrez at the Etihad Stadium stating that this will be an issue for the top clubs.

Mahrez in action for Man City
Mahrez in action for Man City

Guardiola warns European clubs

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has spoken about the recent transfer of Riyad Mahrez to Saudi Arabia.

Guardiola said, as reported by Daily Mail, “Riyad got an incredible offer and that's why we could not say don't do it. Our thoughts were for him to stay here, definitely.

“A few months ago when Cristiano [Ronaldo] was the only one to go, no one thought this many top, top players would play in the Saudi league. 

"In the future, there will be more and that’s why clubs need to be aware of what is happening.

“Saudi is not about being a threat, it is a reality. They want to create a strong league and so far they are the league who can do it. 

“The Premier League spent more than the others because the organisation is better and the broadcast rights are higher.

“The Saudi league, I don't know how long they will sustain that. But the players want to take this experience and play in that league. Saudi Arabia has changed the market.”

Man City not looking for Mahrez replacement

The Citizens are not looking to replace Mahrez who left the club for Saudi Arabia according to Guardiola.

Guardiola claimed there wasn't a like-for-like replacement player available, “We are not looking for a replacement for Riyad in terms of skill because every player is different.

“We will see what happens with loan players [leaving], and which players stay here. A few things are going to happen. The market is open until the end of August.

“It is not easy to replace this kind of player. He doesn't feel the pressure, he is a guy who has to play every single day to be happy. I understand completely.

“I know how tough it was to not play in the FA Cup final and Champions League final. It was really good to work with him. Our relationship was ups and lows, but always with incredible respect.”