Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City has recently revealed that they snubbed offers from Arsenal in the summer transfer window.
Mahrez, N’golo Kante and Jamie Vardy were the standout players of the Leicester City side that shocked the world with their fairytale Premier League victory, and it was no surprise that they would be linked with moves away from the King Power Stadium to some of Europe’s more established clubs.
The 25-year-old Algerian international was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal over the summer, but later chose to snub a move to the Emirates to stay with the Foxes. He eventually signed a new 4-year contract. According to the Guardian, the new contract contains a “gentleman’s agreement” that Mahrez would be allowed to leave the club in the summer of 2017 should a good offer, anywhere around the region of £40 million, be tabled.
Mahrez recently confirmed in an interview with Canal Football Club that Arsenal had indeed shown an interest in taking him to the Emirates in the summer. It was rumoured that the Gunners had tabled a £30 million offer for Mahrez, only to have it rejected by the Leicester City hierarchy.
“There was contact with Arsenal. But Leicester wanted to keep me and I was pretty expensive,” he said. He went on to say, “I did not want to create a conflict when the offer came in,” and insisted that he was happy with his decision to stay and said that he wanted to prove himself again.
The attacking midfielder does indeed have a lot to prove this season after having a thoroughly underwhelming campaign so far. In 10 appearances this season, he has scored only thrice and provided 2 assists in all competitions. In 39 appearances last season, he scored 18 goals and provided 10 assists in all competitions.
The foxes currently sit at 12th place on the Premier League table, having won only 2 out of 7 games played. Losing N’golo Kante was hard enough, but Mahrez’s failure to recreate last season’s form will prove extremely costly.
Despite making some good signings in the form of Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani, the Algerian is still one of the best players in Ranieri’s squad and should they wish to qualify for European competition next year, they will need the 25-year-old to be in stellar form.