By Aramide Oladipo
Tottenham are set to battle it out with bitter rivals Arsenal to land Leicester City playmaker Riyad Mahrez, according to a report.
The Mirror claims that both North London clubs are interested in signing the 26-year-old when the transfer window reopens in January.
The newspaper reports that the winger wanted to leave the Foxes during the summer transfer window with European giants Barcelona and Roma keen to secure his signature.
The report claims that the Algeria international is rated at £30million and he is interested in securing a move to London.
Mahrez played an essential role in helping Leicester secure the Premier League title for the first time in the club’s history during the 2015-16 campaign.
The forward produced some sensational performances for the Foxes, scoring a total of 17 goals and providing ten assists in the Premier League that season.
The winger became the first African player to win the PFA Player of the Year award for his displays throughout that campaign.
Although Leicester failed to repeat their heroics the following season, Mahrez demonstrated that he could deliver on the Champions League stage, contributing with four goals and two assists in nine appearances in the competition.
The Algerian’s current contract at the King Power Stadium runs out in 2020.
Football Insider verdict
It was surprising that Spurs didn’t do everything in their power to secure the signature of the Leicester playmaker during the summer transfer window. It was clear that Mahrez wanted to leave and although Leicester understandably wanted to receive a large sum of money for him, Spurs should’ve tested the waters. Trying to sign a player is always difficult and the Foxes are unlikely to offload one of their best assets in the middle of the campaign especially as they are currently in the bottom three of the league table. It will be interesting to see whether Mahrez has a preference to join Spurs or Arsenal given that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are the ones currently challenging for the title.
In other Tottenham transfer news, a prolific striker has revealed how he was left “broken” by the demands of Pochettino.