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20th May, 2017 | 12:59pm

Club struggling to keep hold of PL winning star amid persistent Tottenham interest - report

By Harvey Byrne

Leicester are facing a struggle to keep hold of stay Riyad Mahrez due to “persistent interest” from Premier League rivals Tottenham, according to a report.

The Times has claimed on their website that the Foxes are not confident that they will be able to retain the 26-year-old attacker this summer and have more hopes of holding onto trio Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy.

The report follows claims from the Telegraph earlier in the month that Mahrez believes that Leicester will allow him to depart the King Power stadium this summer due to an agreement made between the player and former manager Claudio Ranieri.

However, with Craig Shakespeare now expected to be handed a permanent deal at the club next week it is detailed by the Times that the future of Mahrez is high on the club’s agenda due to the interest from north London duo Tottenham and Arsenal and one other unnamed Premier League side.

The report also backs up the claim that Mahrez hopes Leicester will allow him to leave if he is offered the opportunity to play in next season’s Champions League.

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The 30-time capped Algeria international played a key role for Ranieri’s team last season as they claimed the Premier League title with a return of 17 goals and 10 assists in 37 top-flight matches.

However, he has struggled to hit the same heights this campaign with just six goals and four assists from 35 league matches.

Football Insider verdict:

The signing of Mahrez could lift Tottenham to the next level, which is winning the Premier League and it is thought that the north London club should definitely make a move for the right-winger. Manager Mauricio Pochettino brought in Moussa Sissoko to occupy the right-wing spot last summer for a huge £30million fee, but the Frenchman has so far struggled to make an impact in his debut season at the club. It is thought that Mahrez could be more of a success, but there must also be questions as to whether the attacker is a one season wonder.

In other Tottenham transfer news, Spurs fans have reacted to speculation that Pochettino wants to re-sign Gylfi Sigurdsson.

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