Mahrez stays with us - Leicester boss shares why Arsenal hopes have been dashed
By Alex Taylor
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has dashed Arsenal’s hopes of singing Riyad Mahrez this summer by insisting the Algerian winger will be staying at the club as he doesn’t have a buy-out clause.
Eurosport reported last week that the Algerian midfielder was close to following N’Golo Kante out of the Leicester exit door and joining Arsenal in a £42million deal.
Arsene Wenger was present for Leicester’s previous loss to Paris St Germain in Los Angeles on Sunday and subsequently refused to deny that he was trying to sign the Algerian.
But Ranieri revealed that the Leicester hierarchy are confident they are in a strong position with Mahrez because there is no release clause in his deal.
‘The chairman [Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha] told me at the beginning, when we spoke, that we want to keep everybody,” Ranieri said, as quoted by Metro. “Kante had a clause and wanted to go, but the others stay with us.
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“It is normal others want Riyad and other players, but we must focus on the job. He has a contract – another three years. Why does he have to sign? He has money and everything.”
Mahrez scored 17 goals and provided 10 assists in The Foxes’ remarkable title-winning campaign as he was named the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year.
If Leicester can keep hold of their prized asset, in tandem with the recent arrivals of Ahmed Musa and Bartosz Kapustka, then Claudio Ranieri will have a wealth of attacking options to choose from this coming season.
The Gunners are on the look out for further attacking options having already had bids turned down already for Jamie Vardy and Alexandre Lacazette in the current transfer window.
SkyBet currently have the former Le Havre man at 11/10 to join to the North London club before the transfer window closes, but it seems that the Leicester co-owner is adamant he is going nowhere.
In other Arsenal transfer news, a deal done is to be done on Thursday as player arrives to sign after Arsenal finalise terms.