Riyad Mahrez has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Barcelona, who are set to make a move for him in the summer.

Spanish radio station RAC1 have reported that Barcelona are eager to strengthen their wings in the summer transfer window. The Catalan club have set their sights on Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, who is set to leave Leicester City.

Mahrez joined Leicester from Le Havre in January 2014, and has since been one of the most influential figures for the club. In his maiden campaign for the Foxes, the player helped the club escape relegation, before shepherding their shock Premier League title winning campaign in 2015/16.

However, in what was also an underwhelming campaign for Leicester, the Algeria international experienced a significant slump in form before a late flourish saw him finish the season with 10 goals and 7 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions.

Mahrez’s time at Leicester, though, is set to come to an end this summer, after he handed a transfer request to the club last month. And the player doesn’t seem to have any dearth of interest in him, with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and PSG all linked with him in recent months.

However, Barcelona have now become the latest club to emerge as suitors for Mahrez. The Catalan club had an underwhelming campaign in 2016/17 as they surrendered their La Liga crown while also bowing out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals.

Newly appointed manager, Ernesto Valverde is, thus, keen to make improvements to the squad that he has at his disposal at Camp Nou. And the Barcelona boss is prioritising the addition of a winger as per the report, as he has little to choose from beyond Neymar and Lionel Messi on either flank.

Arda Turan has struggled to impress during his time at Camp Nou, while Paco Alcacer is considered to be Luis Suarez’s backup. Hence, Mahrez is being eyed as the candidate to bolster Valverde’s options on the wings, and Barcelona appear set to make a move for the Algerian in the summer.

As far as Mahrez is concerned, a move to Barcelona will help him achieve his dream to play for the club. However, he is unlikely to be a regular at the Catalan club, unless Valverde changes his system to deploy Messi in a deeper playmaking role, and it remains to be seen if the player is keen on playing a bit part role.

The race for Mahrez, though, seems to be hotting up, with clubs lining up to secure his services in the summer transfer window and it’ll be interesting to see where his next destination lies.

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