With Monchi’s lightning fast work this summer, wrapping up Hector Moreno, Maxime Gonalons, Cengis Under, Gregoire Defrel and Aleksandar Kolarov in the time it took Walter Sabatini to plow through a carton of smokes, we the rumor mongers and devourers of the world find ourselves twiddling our thumbs, desperately searching for something to complain about, thinking of new, better and smarter ways to spend money that isn’t, nor ever will be, ours.
Of course, as we discussed over the weekend, Monchi has yet to land his white whale, Leicester City’s wantaway winger, Riyad Mahrez. A key figure in the Foxes improbable run to the Premiership title two seasons ago, Mahrez has since soured on life on Fosse Road, though, preferring the greener pastures of, well, seemingly anywhere.
The problem for Mahrez has simply been a lack of suitors. To date, his rumored locales of choice, Barcelona and Arsenal, haven’t come calling, as both sides are locked in transfer negotiations and/or drama themselves, with the Gunners attempting to lure Thomas Lemar while Barca attempts to downplay the Neymar-to-PSG talk.
Where Monchi was able to make mincemeat of his counterparts at City and PSV, among others, he’s having a decidedly harder time prying Mahrez from Leicester, who, again politely, said no to Roma’s €23 million offer. With Leicester angling for at least €40 million for their star player, Monchi has turned his eyes elsewhere to a more familiar target, Samir Nasri.
The former Arsenal and City star was brought to Monchi’s former club, Sevilla, on loan last season and performed well enough, grabbing two goals and dishing out three assists in roughly 1,800 minutes of La Liga action. While Nasri was decent enough, that was that for his time in Sevilla, leading to an awkward reunion with City.
While Nasri has been brought along on the club’s American tour, his teammates aren’t exactly thrilled with his presence. In addition to a cloud of doping allegations floating over his head, it appears as though Nasri is, well, a straight up dick. Speaking to the Daily Mail, a City insider peeled back the curtains a bit, saying: “The squad don't understand why Nasri is even here. He is very unpopular due to his arrogant attitude. Some of the squad even want him to go back to Manchester.”
So let’s see: an over 30-year-old player, a possible doper and prima donna who doesn’t even play right-wing is supposedly Roma’s plan B for Mahrez?
Lord help us all. The longer this drags out, and the longer Roma refuses, or is unable, to close that €10 million gap in valuation for Mahrez, the more it looks like Defrel will actually be our starting right winger.
There’s still several weeks to go before the season starts and the transfer window closes, but with 99% of their business done, all eyes are firmly fixed on Monchi and Mahrez. Can he get it done, or will they be forced to enlist an option C?