By Wayne Veysey

16th Jul, 2016 | 2:15pm

Odd slashed: Arsenal favourites to land award-winning Premier League ace

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.

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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.