According to Eurosport France, Leicester City attacker Riyad Mahrez has made it clear to all parties that he wants to join Arsenal this summer.
The Mahrez-to-Arsenal saga has been on-going throughout the summer with Eurosport FR first reporting last month that Arsene Wenger had held talks with the players agent following our friendly with Lens.
Various reports have circulated over the course of the last couple of weeks that talks have taken place with Algerian newspaper Le Buteur claiming last week that Mahrez had agreed to join Arsenal after rejecting a new deal from Leicester.
The rumours have subsided in recent days as Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha insisted that the 25-year-old was not for sale while Wenger’s focus switched to signing a new centre-back.
However, the speculation has now resurfaced after EuroSport FR journalist @Ilyesramdani1 took to Twitter to claim that Mahrez has now made it clear to all parties, including Leicester, that he wants to join Arsenal this summer.
The reporter also says that Mahrez doesn’t want to go public with his desire to move to North London out of respect for Leicester so will not force his way out of the King Power Stadium.
The journalists tweets were in French but they translate to say:
Therefore [Mahrez’ expressed his position to the different parts (his wish to sign for Arsenal) but will not force the hand of Leicester.
But he absolutely refused to go to the tussle with a club for whom he has a lot of recognition. (And who obviously wishes to him)
Who knows how much truth there is behind these latest reports but it looks like the Mahrez-to-Arsenal rumours aren’t going away any time soon.
This Eurosport journalist has made these claims despite photos emerging of the Algerian international checking-in to Chelsea’s official matchday hotel at the same time his agent was supposedly meeting with Antonio Conte [source: Express].
As much as I’d love him to, I personally don’t think we’ll see Mahrez join Arsenal this summer. Wenger is focussing his attention on signing a centre-back before the start of the season and then we’ll be looking to sign a striker before the window closes.
Let’s say we end up buying Mustafi for around £25m and Lacazette for £35m, that means our total spending this summer will be close to £100m when we include the deals for Xhaka, Holding and Asano.
Based on how long it takes us to get deals wrapped-up, I don’t think we’ll have either the time or the money left to also get a deal done for Mahrez as strengthening our attacking midfield position just isn’t a top priority right now.