Over the course of the past week Arsenal have been heavily rumoured in the media to be interested in signing Leicester City star man Riyad Mahrez following on from the winger’s fantastic performances last season. Arsenal are in desperate need of more of a presence up front and Mahrez would certainly offer us that, but are the Gunners any closer to wrapping up a deal for this fine talent?
Arsene Wenger has been noted as pulling that ‘cheeky grin’ he does when the media mentions to him a player whom he has great interest in signing. This occurred when the press recently asked about any developments on the Mahrez to Arsenal saga. With Mahrez therefore clearly in Wenger’s mind and the the idea firmly in the minds of Arsenal fans, what exactly is happening in the mind of Riyad Mahrez?
Being a player who is being linked with a big money move to a club like Arsenal is surely something that is going to play on your feelings whilst you wait and see if the two clubs can come to an agreement, especially if that player wants to leave his current club. Although it’s unsure whether Mahrez is looking for a move away, his silence on the matter would suggest that perhaps such a move would interest him and it would be an idea worth considering. In fact Mahrez’s current Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri believes that the Algerian has been distracted by the transfer rumours surrounding his future, so much so his performances have been affected.
Speaking to the press whilst Leicester play out in the USA in the International Champions Cup, Ranieri said: “Maybe Riyad is distracted a bit by all of these rumours and speculation. It is important that he understands that he should stay with us. He has to improve his fitness and play for the team as well as last season.”
Ranieri is obviously keen for Mahrez to stay at Leicester considering it was his 17 goals and 10 assists that played a major role in Leicester’s great success last season. Mahrez may technically be a ‘one season wonder’ at the moment, however the talent he showed last season is surely enough to warrant himself such a commanding transfer fee should a club come calling for the 25 year old. Arsenal had been rumoured to have agreed a £41 million fee with Leicester for the winger, although the media quickly went quiet on that front. The Gunners will now have to wait and see whether the Mahrez saga will develop any further before the start of the season, however if Mahrez is truly getting ‘distracted by the rumours’ as Ranieri seems to think, then it’s only positive news for the Gunners as it suggests that perhaps the star man is considering his future at Leicester.
And if that isn’t enough to convince you, we can always rely on that Wenger smile to give us the biggest hints towards what is occurring on the transfer front…