Manchester City move for Leicester's Riyad Mahrez 'difficult' - Pep Guardiola
MANCHESTER -- Pep Guardiola says it will be difficult to complete a deadline day deal for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez.
But ESPN FC has been told that Leicester City will not allow him to leave unless they receive an extraordinary offer for the 2016 Player of the Year, which would break City's club record £57m spent on French defender Aymeric Laporte on Tuesday.
"Right now, it's the same as [Alexis] Sanchez and Laporte, it's not the place to talk about it," Guardiola told a news conference when asked about Mahrez ahead of Wednesday night's clash with West Bromwich Albion.
"It's so difficult. it happened with Laporte because it's a buy-out clause, when you have to negotiate it's always so complicated."
The City boss has confirmed that he will be without Germany winger Leroy Sane for "six or seven weeks" because of an ankle ligament injury while striker Gabriel Jesus is not expected back for at least two more weeks.
Guardiola said that they have decided to consider January moves with their squad stretched with those injuries adding to those suffered by Benjamin Mendy, Vincent Kompany and John Stones during the season.
City are still competing in four competition having reached the Carabao Cup final and have favourable draws against FC Basel in the Champions League and Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup. If they win one or both as expected, it would make a busy end to the season even more congested.
"I have interest in a lot of players, good players, there are many, the window is open until the 31st," he said. "We spoke many times with the club to see what is the best with the players we have.
"Right now we have just three strikers with Raheem [Sterling], for the next month or month-and-a-half. Gabriel is coming maybe in the next five or six weeks, we don't have too much and we play every three days. We have to find solutions.
"We played the season with no left-back, we had Mendy but he's out for six months, so we adapted Danilo, Fabian Delph and [Oleksandr] Zinchenko.
"We played almost all the season without Vincent and we did really well. We overcame the situations with John Stones and Nico [Otamendi], an amazing couple. We have to adapt, if David [Silva] or Kevin [De Bruyne] have to play on the wing, we can adapt several positions to do it.
"I said to the club if Laporte can come now -- we were going to do it in the summer -- but if he can come now then it's better, maybe he can help us. If things are not possible, then nothing is going to happen.
"What they have done -- I have to trust them. But of course we are thinking about this summer, next summer -- the future."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.