Arsenal are reportedly ready to reignite interest in Leicester City and Algerian international Riyad Mahrez, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger intent on reinforcing the wing.
According to reports from Algerian publication Le Buteur, the Gunners will reignite their interest in the Foxes superstar. The Algerian has been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur for a while. And the Emirates outfits now seem set to relaunch an attempt to bring him to the club.
It was this very Algerian outlet that had reported of Mahrez being close to a move to Arsenal on deadline day in the summer of 2016, only for the deal to collapsed due to differences in valuation of the player between the clubs. One of the main reason for him staying at the King Power Stadium – Claudio Ranieri – has since departed, so has his successor, Craig Shakespeare.
Claude Puel, the new boss at Leicester, seems to finally prefer giving youngster Demarai Gray an extended run-in for the club. Mahrez also returned to his brilliant performance under for the former Southampton boss, with a boast of six goals and six assists in 20 Premier League appearances so far.
Arsenal’s need for new signings on the wings is obvious, and has become a priority for Arsene Wenger. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left for Liverpool in the summer while Alexis Sanchez seems to be heading towards the exit door sooner or later. The club have been linked to the likes of Leon Bailey, David Neres and Alessio Da Cruz among other more-established names.
All of the aforementioned names doesn’t meet the club’s need, which is where the addition of Mahrez might be a better option. The player is already used to the urgent need of the Premier League and has proven himself in the league time and time again.
The 26-year-old would also not just be a shot-term addition to the club either. The Algerian – who was crowned the 2016 BBC African player of the year – with his explosive nature, could competently replace Sanchez as well, if the Chilean eventually quit the club in the near future.
Riyad Mahrez’s return to form this season has increased the Gunners’ interest, with the club already lining up bid to present to the Foxes. Leicester City’s form have also improved recently, with the 2015/16 Premier League champions now eight on the Premier League table after a poor start to the season.
Arsenal’s move for him might just happen anytime. The player is back to his usual self, the Gunners need a winger the Foxes boss might just use this opportunity to rebuild his team to an extent.
Another positive thing about Arsenal’s pursuit of him will be his eligibility to take the field for them in the Europa League, if a deal is done in January itself. The Foxes had earlier insisted on a €50 million asking price for the Algerian and if Arsenal could afford that, they could finally see their demands come to fruition for Riyad Mahrez as the transfer window is just some hours away.