Riyad Mahrez finally got his move from Leicester City to Manchester City during the summer transfer window, after struggling to do so in the previous window.
The Manchester club’s pursuit of Mahrez became very public in January, and the Algerian international ended up going AWOL when Leicester City put their foot down and denied the move.
He’ll have no doubt been hugely relieved that Pep Guardiola pushed his club to return for the transfer, but according to Calciomercato, Mahrez wasn’t City’s first choice.
The Italian website claims the man at the top of the list was Juventus’ Douglas Costa, and that those in charge of transfers at the Premier League champions ‘moved in great secrecy’ to try and find a deal for the Brazilian.
However, it’s stated that Juventus had no intention of selling the player, and that, when met with a wall from the Turin club, Manchester City didn’t try to push things further and subsequently walked away from the idea.
Following a transfer window, it’s not unusual for the Italian media to flex their muscles on behalf of Serie A clubs, and Calciomercato has also claimed this weekend that Tottenham made a late offer for Marcelo Brozovic and state Real Madrid were also interested.