Barcelona have reportedly turned down an offer to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City this summer.
According to a report by TransferMarketWeb, Riyad Mahrez was offered by Leicester City to Barcelona, who have snubbed the opportunity to sign the Algerian winger this summer. AS Roma are eager to sign the player, and have submitted one final bid to secure his services.
Mahrez enjoyed a sensational rise to prominence over the course of the 2015/16 season as he spearheaded Leicester City’s shock Premier League triumph, while also helping himself towards winning the PFA and Premier League Player of the Year.
The player and the club, though, experienced a significant dip in form last season as Leicester could only manage a bottom half finish, with Claudio Ranieri losing his job midway through the campaign. Mahrez, meanwhile, turned in a paltry return of 10 goals and 7 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions.
A below par campaign notwithstanding though, the 26-year-old continues to remain a highly sought-after figure in the transfer market, especially after he handed a transfer request to Leicester earlier this summer.
Fair play to Riyad Mahrez who appears to be the only footballer in the world that’s happy to play for his club amid transfer interest. pic.twitter.com/naD52FHK7D
— Coral (@Coral) August 11, 2017
The likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, AS Monaco and Liverpool have all registered an interest in signing the player. But, AS Roma have been the front-runners in his pursuit for several weeks, albeit unsuccessfully, having had two bids rejected already.
The Giallorossi lost the services of Francesco Totti and Mohamed Salah this summer, leaving Eusebio Di Francesco slightly short of options in attack. Therefore, Mahrez has been eyed as a viable target to assume the playmaking responsibilities to complement the pace of summer arrival Lorenzo Pellegrini and the finishing abilities of Edin Dzeko.
However, with only a couple of weeks left before the transfer window slams shut, Roma have tabled one final bid for the player before they set their sights elsewhere. Meanwhile, Leicester have offered their prized asset to Barcelona, who are also desperately scouring for an attacking recruitment.
The Blaugrana were left shellshocked earlier this month when Neymar joined PSG, leaving Ernesto Valverde with a severe shortage of quality up front, with the likes of Arda Turan, Gerard Deulofeu and Paco Alcacer not inspiring much confidence.
The La Liga heavyweights, though, have rejected the opportunity to make Mahrez their third signing of the summer, having long ended their interest in the player. Their sights, meanwhile, are set firmly on Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
It now remains to be seen if Barcelona succeed in their pursuits of the aforementioned duo, or if their disastrous time in the summer window continues. Mahrez, meanwhile, looks set to stay at Leicester unless the Premier League club accept the final offer from Roma.