Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly set to resume their transfer battle to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City in January
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Arsenal and Tottenham are set to indulge in a transfer tug of war in January over Riyad Mahrez. The wantaway Algerian winger has handed a transfer request to Leicester City before a summer exit failed to be materialised.
Mahrez enjoyed a sensational rise to prominence as Leicester City enjoyed Premier League title triumph in the 2015-16 season, leading the club’s unprecedented success. One of the main pillars for the Foxes in the aforementioned season, the player won the PFA and Premier League Player of the Year as well.
However, the shock triumph was followed by a campaign of struggle as Leicester failed to finish even in the top half of the table last season. A considerable dip in form also saw Mahrez perform below par – the 26-year-old only managed a paltry return of 10 goals and 7 assists in 48 appearances in all competitions.
With Leicester failing to maintain a consistently high level, Mahrez indicated his desire to leave the club in the summer by handing a transfer request. He was subsequently chased by some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Barcelona and AS Roma before a move failed to materialise.
📰 Talk: Arsenal and Tottenham both want to sign Leicester’s 26-year-old winger Riyad Mahrez. (Mirror) pic.twitter.com/s7yyBuMtLu
— E-Football (@e_footballnet) October 15, 2017
The player, though, could be set to achieve his wish to depart from the King Power Stadium with two of his former suitors reigniting their interest in him. Arsenal and Tottenham are set to wage another war in North London, this time in the transfer market as they look to go head-to-head in his pursuit in January.
At the Emirates, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez appear destined to call time on their spell with the Gunners, either in January or next summer, with talks for a new deal for each player heading nowhere.
Mahrez is, thus, a viable target for Arsene Wenger, with the Algerian capable of adding some much needed creativity that Alexandre Lacazette could do with, should Ozil leave. However, Arsenal face some stiff competition from arch rivals Tottenham in pursuit of the player.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was desperate to bolster his attacking options in the summer with little to choose from beyond Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min due to the inconsistencies of Moussa Sissoko and Erik Lamela.
Mahrez was a major summer target, and with Tottenham likely to spend in the winter transfer window, the Algerian is an ideal candidate to reinforce Pochettino’s attacking option. The Algeria international is open to a move as well, with his desire to leave Leicester all too well known.
The transfer fee is unlikely to be a hurdle either, with Leicester set to command £30 million for the player – a steep decline from their summer price. Thus, it now remains to be seen if a winter move sees the light of the day, with Arsenal and Tottenham eager to add Mahrez to their ranks.