Riyad Mahrez opens up on Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain late attempts to stop Man City exit

Mahrez joined Saudi Arabian outfit Al Ahli for 30m, ending a five-year spell at City that culminated in City winning the Champions League in June. However, Mahrez had fallen out of Guardiola&aposs starting XI for the big games as City also won the Premier League and FA Cup.

Now, Mahrez says the fact he didn&apost start the Champions League final played a part in his decision to leave, as did the fact that he could offer security to his family with a long-term contract at Al Ahli. Playing alongside Roberto Firmino, Edouard Mendy, Franck Kessie and Allan Saint-Maximin, Mahrez has six goals and seven assists in 14 appearances for his new club.

Speaking to L&aposEquipe, Mahrez said: “I had two years left on my contract with Manchester City, I could have stayed. It was really me who decided to leave. I felt that this opportunity would not come again. Maybe it was time to leave because I had spent five years at City and won everything.

“To be honest, I still have a taste of unfinished business. In the Champions League, I did not play the semi-final or the final. In previous seasons, I always started in the Champions League while always being impactful for my team.

“This last year, I couldn&apost say it went badly, but I have a bit of this feeling of unfinished business. I was offered four years in Saudi Arabia, in a Muslim country where I can definitely protect my family. There was also a new challenge, and a new project. So, I decided to leave, it wasn&apost a big deal.”