Reports started to emerge on Saturday morning that Riyad Mahrez would leave Leicester and has decided to sign for Arsenal.
Speaking earlier in the week, Claudio Ranieri had stated that Mahrez wanted to stay at the club but reports in the Sun and on Eurosport.fr are claiming that the Player of the Season will sign for Arsenal.
The Sun’s report is based on the one from France.
The claim is that Arsenal have made an offer to the player directly which instantly makes me suspicious as that’s completely illegal. Unless Leicester have given Arsenal permission to speak to the player, which they might have done as Ranieri has always said he would not stop a player from leaving, the Gunners cannot speak to him.
The player’s agent, Kamel Bengougam, apparently refused to comment on the story. He was, however, at the Arsenal game last night:
— AFC Fisher (@AFC_Fisher) July 23, 2016
Eurosport give no indication of where they get their information from so it’s best to take this ‘news’ with a massive shovel of salt. I’ll spend today digging into this as much as possible and do a more comprehensive update of what seems to be going on first thing in the morning so be sure to check back.
Get French Football News state that the person who has written this report ‘…does not usually partake in the transfer window side of things. That however makes it seem more authentic, from our point of view.’
We shall see.