Riyad Mahrez is believed to be interested in a move to Leicester City’s Premier League rivals, Arsenal.
Ranieri: Mahrez is staying
French reports: He's joining Arsenal
Agent: No he's not
Mahrez: Selfie time pic.twitter.com/Eeo1UTUP8e
— BlameFootball (@blameFootball) July 23, 2016
According to Eurosport, Riyad Mahrez is in discussions with Arsene Wenger over a potential switch to Arsenal.
Wenger is looking to bolster his attacking lineup, which already includes Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, and Mesut Ozil. The French manager is looking to pose a serious title threat this season, after his side finished second to Leicester City during last year’s edition of the Barclays Premier League.
The report states that Riyad Mahrez will cost Wenger up to €50 million, with Riyad already having agreed on personal terms with Arsenal.
However, last week, Claudio Ranieri stated that Mahrez intends to stay at the club. The Italian manager was adamant that the Algerian play-maker would remain with the Foxes for the upcoming season.
Ranieri told Sky Sports: “It’s over, the market is over here Mahrez wants to stay.”
But, it seems that Mahrez has made up his mind. The Algeria international’s agent has already met up with Arsene Wenger to discuss a move for the 25-year-old. Wenger met with Riyad’s agent in Lens, where Arsenal were playing a pre-season friendly.
The deal is expected to be finalized during the next few days, as terms between both parties are being sorted. Arsene Wenger mentioned in an earlier press conference that his club were still “active” in the market.
Ranieri’s side have already lost a crucial member of their title-winning squad in N’Golo Kante, who opted for a move to Chelsea, with the Blues paying a total of £30 million for the French powerhouse.
If Mahrez does complete his move to the Gunners, then Ranieri will be faced with a mammoth task as he attempts to maintain their amazing run of form which saw them clinch the 2015/16 title.