By Derek Smithson
Tottenham are not interested in signing Leicester City’s playmaker Riyad Mahrez and their focus is on his teammate Demarai Gary, according to a report.
The Daily Mirror claim that Spurs have turned down the chance to sign Mahrez, while Juventus, Chelsea and Arsenal remain interested in the 26-year-old.
It is understood that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are eyeing Leicester winger Gray and that the manager is a long-term admirer.
The report details that the 20-year-old is unsettled at the King Power Stadium due to his play time, but the north London club may be put off by his £22million release clause.
Mahrez is pushing for a move away from the Foxes the summer and is hoping they honour an agreement he made with former manager Claudio Ranieri to leave at the end of the season.
The Algerian won the PFA Player of the Year in the 2015/16 campaign and inspired Leicester to an unlikely title win, but now wants a move to a big club.
Spurs are retaining an interest in another Leicester winger in Gray, who is still fighting for a position in the starting line-up.
The England Under-21 international is a highly rated winger with blistering pace and an eye for goal, but has been behind the likes of Mahrez and Marc Albrighton in the pecking order.
He made 41 senior appearances across all competitions last season, scoring two goals and supplying five assists in return.
Football Insider verdict:
Mahrez is the player that Spurs should be chasing this summer as they must be looking to improve their starting line-up if they want to remain at the top-end of the Premier League. The 26-year-old is pushing for a transfer this summer and the north London club would be making a real statement if they snapped up the skilful winger. He may not have reached his top levels last season, but there is no doubting the quality and he could be a major success in a Spurs side that usually dominate possession. Meanwhile, Gray has huge potential and it’s easy to see why Pochettino is so keen on the youngster. However, he would find it difficult to force his way into contention at Spurs and would be best served staying at Leicester.
In other Tottenham transfer news, three top-flight teams are eyeing a move for the club’s 20-year-old.