Manchester: Riyad Mahrez is the latest Premier League player to head to Saudi Arabia after signing with Al-Ahli.
The Algeria international was a key player in Leicester’s shocking title win in 2016 and then won the league four more times with Manchester City. He leaves after a season in which City won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
“I’ve made a lifetime of wonderful memories and the manner of our Premier League title wins and the battles we’ve had with Liverpool and, last year, Arsenal, underlined our collective desire and mentality to be the best,” Mahrez said in a statement on City’s website.
Mahrez scored 15 goals in 47 games in his final season with City but no longer started some of the biggest matches. He was an unused substitute in both the Champions League and FA Cup finals.
At Al-Ahli, he will join Roberto Firmino, who was formerly one of City’s rivals at Liverpool, and former Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Al-Ahli is also set to sign one of Europe’s highest-rated young coaches in Matthias Jaissle, Austrian club Salzburg said in a statement confirming the 35-year-old German had been released from his duties.
Salzburg said Jaissle asked for a move Wednesday, two days before the club’s first game of the new Austrian league season, and that talks between the club and Al-Ahli were underway.
“Our view is that a coach that is so busy exploring a new job just two days before the start of such an important season should not be in charge when it starts,” Salzburg general manager Stephan Reiter said.
Jaissle was praised for reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League with Salzburg in his first season in charge in 2021-22.