Riyad Mahrez wants to finish his career in the English Premier League.
Amid recent suggestions that his current contract situation at the Etihad Stadium is attracting interest from some of Europe’s most prominent clubs, the Manchester City and Algeria star has revealed his desire to finish his career in England.
During an interview with French TV channel Canal+Sport, the 30-year-old winger discussed a range of topics including the current campaign with City, working under Pep Guardiola, as well as the work and ability of Kevin De Bruyne who recently signed a contract extension with the English club.
Mahrez particularly pointed out the squad’s defensive strengths and the experience of some of the club’s most crucial players.
“We’ve scored less than previous seasons, but I believe that we’re more safe at the back. We also have more experienced players, who are close to their 30s, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gündogan.
“We have played a lot of games. When you start winning, you gain confidence. Everyone can play in this team, it makes a difference.”
Asked about his manager Pep Guardiola, the Algeria captain re-affirmed the demanding nature of the Spaniard. He continued to explain that the manager demands players to be mentally strong. He said Guardiola’s style has been influenced by many professionals who have worked with him in the past. Most importantly, the former Le Harve attacker feels the team plays well together.
“Now we know each other better, we don’t speak that much, but I know what he wants me to do. He’s very demanding and that’s important, therefore you can improve.”
With numerous reports suggesting that there had been no progress over a new deal for him, Mahrez cleared things out saying he wishes to stay at the Etihad for the remainder of his career.
“I always wanted to play in Ligue 1 when I used to play for Le Havre. It wasn’t my dream, but it obsessed me. Since I’ve played in the Premier League, I’d like to finish my career here to be honest.
“I love the league, I feel good here so I can’t imagine me leaving this league. But everything can happen. I won’t tell you that I’ll never play in France, but I don’t think so.”
He has netted nine league goals and assisted another four strikes for the log leaders this season.
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By Prince Sobayeni