Pep sends £26m message to Chelsea amid transfer target that will affect Arsenal

Pep Guardiola criticizes Ten Hag over humiliating 6-3 defeat

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has delivered a transfer update after Riyad Mahrez’s confirmed departure that will impact Arsenal and Chelsea

Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola looks on prior to the preseason friendly match between Manchester City and Bayern Muenchen at National Stadium on July 26, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s latest transfer claim could affect Arsenal and Chelsea

Pep Guardiola has remained coy on whether or not Manchester City will sign a new attacker after Riyad Mahrez’s departure was confirmed on Friday. The Algeria international has spent the last five years at Etihad Stadium but has now completed a £30million move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ahli with Man City set to receive £26million up front and potentially a further £4million in add-ons.

Arsenal have thus far endured a vastly different summer transfer window to their Premier League title rivals from last season with Mikel Arteta strengthening his squad with three key additions costing over £200million. Declan Rice was wanted by Man City, but he ended up joining Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber as new signings for Arsenal ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Meanwhile at Etihad Stadium, Mateo Kovacic remains as the only marquee acquisition while Ilkay Gundogan, like Mahrez, has sealed a move away after being a crucial part of Guardiola’s set up for several seasons. Josko Gvardiol is a top target for Guardiola but that deal could now collapse despite it appearing as though an agreement on a fee with RB Leipzig had been reached.

With Mahrez leaving, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva could be deployed at right wing for the Community Shield final against Arsenal on Sunday, August 6, or academy graduate Cole Palmer could be given a chance to impress. With those three options available, on the face of things, a direct replacement for Mahrez may not be a priority and now Guardiola has delivered his verdict on that possibility.

“The market is open until the end of august,” he said in a press conference ahead of Man City taking on Atletico Madrid in South Korea. “I think a few things or many things are going to happen. We will see if we need wingers or inside players, we will see what happens with loan players, which players stay here or not.”

If Guardiola chooses to welcome a new right-sided attacker it could directly affect Chelsea, with Crystal Palace star Michael Olise wanted by both clubs, as per transfer guru Fabrizio Romano. Neither side are yet to launch an official bid but the France Under-21 international does have a £35million release clause in Selhurst Park contract.

Chelsea have also sounded out Ajax over potentially making a summer move for Mohammed Kudus, understands. The Gunners are also interested in the versatile 22-year-old with Arteta hoping to strengthen his midfield and provide competition for Bukayo Saka.

Both London clubs recently received an interesting update on Kudus courtesy of Ajax sporting director Sven Mislintat. “There are clubs that have informally enquired about him,” he told Ajax Life, via Metro. “I don’t expect an offer very soon, although you know that things can be different in the football world. Perhaps the interest is not as serious as everyone thinks.”

Speaking to Aglemeen Dagblad, he added: “The best thing for if Kudus and (Edson) Alvarez stay, then we keep two top players. But it is also possible that one goes, or both. It is important for us that the relationship with the players remains good. This can be done by being transparent and applying good principles. As we get closer to the deadline, the transfer fee, for example, goes up.”

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