Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez is reportedly set to snub any interest from Arsenal and AS Roma to pursue a move to Barcelona this summer.
According to Diario Gol via the Daily Star, Mahrez has told his agent of his desire to play at the Nou Camp as a Neymar replacement, should the Brazilian join Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the new season.
If true, it’s certainly a bold decision. But the Catalans might not be keen on the Algerian international given his performance last season, scoring and creating just nine goals in 36 Premier League games.
Neymar averages close to a goal a game for Barcelona each season – scoring and creating 39 goals in 46 games in all competitions in 2016/17 – so the La Liga giants aren’t likely to take the gamble on someone who is so inconsistent.
Nor would Barcelona consider the Leicester City man the right fit for their current approach. Mahrez likes to operate on the right and cut inside onto his stronger left-foot. Lionel Messi has that role tied up, albeit a deeper and central role at times.
If the Spanish club can get the reported £196m for Neymar, they are likely to target a player much bigger and better than Mahrez. Arsenal have been dragging their heels over this transfer but they likely don’t need to worry about him going to the Camp Nou just yet.