Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Riyad Mahrez set to sign for the Gunners
After a fairy-tale Premier League triumph last season, Leicester City is on the verge of losing the services of Riyad Mahrez to London giants, Arsenal. As per reports of Eurosport France, Arsenal met with Mahrez’s agent while they were playing a tour friendly at Lens yesterday. It is also learnt that the transfer fee agreed may sum up to a reported £42 million. Although it was previously said by their Italian manager Claudio Ranieri that the Algerian is staying with the Foxes, it now seems likely that Mahrez will play in the red of Arsenal.
If the deal does take place it is going to be a huge blow to the defending league champions as they have already lost out on the services of N’Golo Kante to Chelsea.
Leicester City scripted a story never told in football after they won the English Premier League against all odds. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were the standout performers for them and the English striker was previously approached by the Gunners but he turned down their offer, but it is quite unlikely his teammate would follow his path. Mahrez was awarded the PFA Player of the Year for his brilliant performance last season and Jamie Vardy was called up to represent England at the European Championships.
The Foxes ended their 132-year wait for a major trophy last year and they qualified for the UEFA Champions League. The rise of Leicester City has been incredible as in 2009, they were playing in the third division in English Football, but in the following six-years they spun an impossible yarn that only story books contain.
Arsenal finished 2nd spot last season behind Leicester City and will be eager to win a title they won back in 2003-04 with a teamfamously known as “The Invincibles”. They were unbeaten in 49 League matches from 7 May 2003 to 23 October 2004.
Riyad Mahrez, along with being PFA’s best footballer, was also awarded “Algerian player of the year” and was named as a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year. The Algerian winger scored 17 goals during the English Premier League season 2015-16 and also gave several assists to guide his team to the championship.
Chelsea and Manchester City have also eyed to sign Mahrez from the defending champions but the process never progressed.