Saturday saw great excitement as Riyad Mahrez apparently said he wanted to join Arsenal.
It took around 24 hours for the story to start falling apart.
The vast coverage on Saturday all stemmed from one website, Europort.fr, and it seems as if they could have been basing most of their information on the fact that Mahrez’s agent was at the Lens match.
Since then, Kamel Bengougam, has denied that he was there to do any sort of transfer business, Mahrez has scored a goal for Leicester against Celtic with a great curling effort, and Claudio Ranieri still seems confident his player will remain at the club next season.
— PL Goals (@PL_Finishes) July 23, 2016
Speaking after the Celtic game, Ranieri said, “Did you see how Riyad is happy? He played so well, worked so hard for the team, he scored a goal and he stays with us.
“It is very important [to keep him] he is one of our stars.
“Other teams maybe have more stars and maybe he doesn’t play at the same level, because maybe is on the bench so it is much better he stays with me.
“Maybe some newspapers tomorrow will say £100m. Good, keep going.”
It is claimed that the main reason Jamie Vardy turned down Arsenal was that he would not be a guaranteed starter like he is at Leicester and the same could be said for Mahrez (although anyone who has watched Theo Walcott lately would know he probably would be) so it’s understandable that Claudio would use this tactic again to talk Mahrez into staying with him.
But I don’t think he has to do much talking, if I’m honest.
Ranieri has been confident all along that Mahrez would not leave and when you remember how honest (and right) he was when the Vardy nonsense was going on, it’s hard not to want to trust what he’s saying above speculation in the media.