Riyad Mahrez happy to fight for his place at Man City
Winger says City's persistent interest "means a lot to me"
By Calum Wilson
Last Updated: 12/07/18 10:45pm
Riyad Mahrez says he is happy to fight for his place in Manchester City’s starting line-up this season.
After four failed bids for the Algeria international, City finally got their man for a club-record fee of £60m, signing the 27-year-old to a five-year deal at the Etihad.
But, with a squad already full of talent, there is no guarantee that the winger will walk straight into the Premier League champions' team and Mahrez is prepared to battle it out on the training pitch.
"At all the big clubs there are great players," Mahrez said. "Competition is part of football and it is good because everyone can improve. You can improve yourself and the squad. It is perfect.
"I am very happy to be here and to have signed to this club. To be the record (signing), I don't think too much about this.
"The most important thing is I am here, I am happy and I am starting a new challenge.
"I am very confident in myself and I hope to help the team to improve."
The move will come as a relief for Mahrez, after previously handing in multiple transfer requests at Leicester, and he spoke of his delight at finally joining.
"They [City] offered and Leicester rejected the offers, but it's the past. I am looking forward now. I am very happy to be here."
When asked about how he felt that City waited for him, Mahrez said: "It means a lot to me. I will give my best to this club."
Speaking about his new boss Pep Guardiola, Mahrez added: "Pep is a big manager who has won a lot of things and made history at this club.
"I wanted to work under him and to play in this club. I didn't hesitate at all. He wanted me."
After their title success, City are now striving to win the Champions League and that ambition was of huge appeal to Mahrez.
He said: "They have everything to try to win the Champions League. It is a goal. Last season they lost in the quarter-final and I know they have the ambition to go further the next season.
"That's why I'm here, why I made the decision to come here, because I want to be part of this."
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