Digimagaz.com – In a significant transfer deal, Riyad Mahrez, the renowned football star, has joined the Saudi Pro League club Al Ahli from Manchester City. The announcement of the transfer was made public on Friday, adding another high-profile name to the growing list of players making their way to the Saudi Arabian football scene.
Sources close to the matter informed ESPN that the Premier League champions, Manchester City, agreed to a substantial £30 million ($38.7m) deal with Al Ahli to secure Mahrez’s services. The talented winger expressed a keen interest in playing in Saudi Arabia, which ultimately led to the successful completion of the transfer. As part of the agreement, Al Ahli has guaranteed a payment of £26 million with an additional £4 million in potential add-ons.
During his time at Manchester City, Mahrez had an illustrious career, contributing significantly to the club’s successes. He was instrumental in securing four Premier League titles, including their historic Treble triumph in the previous season. Since joining Manchester City from Leicester City in 2018, Mahrez made an impressive 236 appearances, establishing himself as a key player in the squad.
In a heartfelt statement to City’s official website, Mahrez expressed his gratitude and emotions towards his time at Manchester City. He said, “To play for Manchester City has been an honour and privilege. I came to City to win trophies and enjoy my football and I achieved all that and so much more. I have had five unforgettable years with this football club, working with unbelievable players, fantastic supporters, and the best manager in the world.”
He further added, “I’ve made a lifetime of wonderful memories, and the manner of our Premier League title wins and the battles we’ve had with Liverpool and, last year, Arsenal, underlined our collective desire and mentality to be the best. Manchester City will forever be a huge and happy part of my life.”
Following Mahrez’s departure, Al Ahli wasted no time in securing their new manager. Matthias Jaissle was appointed on a three-year contract, immediately after FC Salzburg dismissed the German coach. The Austrian champions released Jaissle from his duties after he expressed his desire to join the Saudi club.
Stephen Rider, the managing director of Salzburg, explained their decision, stating, “We believe that a coach who is so intensely concerned with a possible change of club just two days before the start of an important season should not be there for this opener either. We want to start the new season with full energy and conviction. To do that, we need 100% focus from everyone involved.”
Al Ahli’s ambitions for the upcoming season are evident, not only with the signing of Riyad Mahrez but also with the acquisitions of striker Roberto Firmino from Liverpool and Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy. The club, promoted as champions of the Saudi First Division League last season, aims to make a strong impact in the top tier and challenge for major honors.
With these high-profile transfers, the spotlight on the Saudi Pro League continues to grow, attracting international talent and further elevating the league’s profile in the world of football. Riyad Mahrez’s move to Al Ahli marks a new chapter in his career and adds to the excitement and anticipation surrounding the upcoming football season in Saudi Arabia.