Liverpool have reportedly established first contact with Leicester star Riyad Mahrez over a possible move this month, with Arsenal interested in him as well.
According to a report by French publication L’Equipe, Liverpool have taken the first steps to prise Riyad Mahrez away from Leicester City in the winter transfer window. The Algerian winger is also the subject of interest from Arsenal, and a head-to-head battle seems to brewing for the player.
Mahrez seems to have rediscovered his best form after an extended lull last season as the player and Leicester struggled in their defence of the Premier League title. With seven goals and eight assists in 22 Premier League appearances, the Algerian winger has been one of the best attacking players this season.
Additionally, with the Foxes attempting to finish inside the Top 7 come May, Mahrez will be a pivotal figure for them in the second half of the season. But, Leicester face an uncertain month ahead in their bid to retain the player’s services, with Arsenal and Liverpool reportedly tailing him.
Goals since August 2015:
🇩🇿 R. Mahrez (30)
🇧🇷 P. Coutinho (28)
🇧🇪 E. Hazard (26)
Assists since August 2015:
🇩🇿 R. Mahrez (21)
🇧🇷 P. Coutinho (18)
🇧🇪 E. Hazard (10)
— DZ Football (@DZFootball_en) January 4, 2018
Arsenal were among the clubs that had attempted to sign Mahrez in the summer owing to the uncertainty surrounding the future of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. While Ozil now seems closer to signing a new deal than not, Sanchez is believed to be a certainty to depart, either in January or the coming summer.
Mahrez is, thus, a viable target for the Gunners, who could add spark to Arsene Wenger’s attack. But, Arsenal now face stiff competition from Liverpool, who have taken the initial steps to secure the player’s services this mont.
The Reds need a player to replace Philippe Coutinho, who seems to have played his last game for the club. Liverpool’s primary target was reportedly Thomas Lemar, but that pursuit seems to have ended with AS Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim claiming that the player won’t be sold this month.
Jurgen Klopp has now turned his attention towards Mahrez, a player who he has followed for a long time now. The report suggests that Liverpool have contacted Leicester over a January move for the 26-year-old, and will soon launch their first assault for him.
Leicester, though, are unwilling to see Mahrez leave as he is a key component in their bid for a Top 7 finish. Arsenal, on the other hand, will need to pull their socks up in pursuit of the player if they are to stand a chance of snapping him up. It now remains to be seen if Mahrez joins either club this month, or if Leicester manage to hold onto him.