Arsenal are reportedly interested in making a move for Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling, with Manchester City ready to ‘listen to offers’ for both forwards.
While City are currently preparing themselves for the all-English Champions League final clash with Chelsea on Saturday evening, attention has also begun to turn to this summer’s upcoming transfer window, with a handful of first-team stars potentially facing the axe.
Former Liverpool man Sterling has been a crucial part of Pep Guardiola’s side in recent seasons and has netted 114 goals in all competitions for the club, yet has found himself restricted to the substitutes bench in recent months, in part down to the meteoric rise of England teammate, Phil Foden.
The 26-year-old has previously spoken of his desire to potentially play abroad in the future – with both Real Madrid and Barcelona having been linked in the past – and has seen negotiations over a new deal at the Etihad hit a stumbling block.
As for Mahrez, the Algerian ace has been in superb form of late, including scoring three times in City’s semi-final clash with Paris Saint-Germain, yet it would appear that the club would be open to a sale for the 30-year-old, if the right offer came in.
As per the Mail, both Sterling and Mahrez are understood to be interesting rivals Arsenal, the Gunners boss Mikel Arteta having worked alongside the two wingers during his spell as assistant to Guardiola.
The report suggests that the Premier League champions are looking to ‘refine’ their squad this summer and are willing to sanction the sales of a few valuable, yet not crucial first-team stars, including both Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus.
Such high profile departures would likely help the club to fund moves for their own targets, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish rumoured to be one player attracting interest, as too is wantaway Tottenham Hotspur striker, Harry Kane.
The problem they will face, however, is whether any rivals can afford the hefty sums required to prize the likes of Sterling and Mahrez from Manchester, with the Gunners not in a strong financial position to meet multi-million-pound asking prices.
The north London club also have the issue of an absence of European football next season, having failed to qualify for continental competition for the first time in 25 years following their eighth-placed league finish.
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