By Tom Blackburn

Arsenal have emerged as the bookmakers’ favourites to sign Riyad Mahrez’s before the end of the transfer window after he rejected a new contract with Leicester.

It was reported earlier on Saturday that the Gunners and Barcelona are on high alert after Mahrez snubbed a bumper £100,000-a-week at the Premier League champions.

Betting company SkyBet have slashed Arsenal’s odds of signing the Algerian to 5/2 in light of the contract snub, while Barcelona are second favourites at 9/1.

However, it is far from a two-horse race in the eyes of the bookies, with Borussia Dortmund at 10/1, PSG at 12/1 and Man United at 16/1.

It would be a major blow for Leicester to lose Mahrez just 24 hours after it emerged that N’Golo Kante is set to depart Claudio Ranieri’s team for Chelsea.

The Algeria 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.

Arsenal have already missed out on one Leicester star, with Jamie Vardy opting to sign a new contract at Leicester despite already have a medical at the Emirates.

In other Arsenal news, their star man has been given the month off, leaving the club without anyone in his position.