By Tom Blackburn
Arsenal could miss out on another attacking target amid claims Riyad Mahrez would prefer to join Barcelona, according to a report.
It was reported on Saturday that Mahrez had rejected a £100,000-a-week deal from Leicester and Arsenal were favourites to sign the Premier League winner.
However, Catalan newspaper Sport claims that the preferred location for Mahrez is European giants Barcelona.
The Algerian international was the stand-out performer for Leicester in their title triumph last season with 17 league goals and 10 assists, while forming a highly productive partnership with Jamie Vardy.
He joined from Le Havre, who play in the French Ligue 2, midway through the 2013-14 season and helped Leicester earn a return to the Premier League.
The Evening Standard reported in February that Wenger admitted he turned down the opportunity to sign Mahrez for £400,000 in 2014 and he praised the attacking midfielder.
“He has developed extremely well; today he is one of the dominant players in the Premier League,” Wenger said.
The report could mean Arsenal are set to miss out on their third potential signing from Leicester, after N’Golo Kante joined Chelsea and earlier in the window Jamie Vardy opted to sign a new contract at Leicester despite having a medical at the Emirates.
The former England goalkeeper said Wenger needs to bring in a new spine to the team, having only signed Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach so far this summer.
In other Arsenal transfer news, their £37.5million target has exchanged a war of words with his current club.