Riyad Mahrez has reportedly turned down the chance to join Roma as he holds out for a move to Arsenal, a club he could have joined last summer.
Arsene Wenger is believed to have Thomas Lemar as his main window priority and Mahrez is reportedly a back-up should that move fail to materialise. Never fear, that doesn’t seem to be bothering Mahrez, who is happy to wait until later in the window to seal the switch in a deal that could be worth around £35m.
It is described as a ‘dream’ move for Mahrez and has already informed Leicester of his desire to quit the King Power.
Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare revealed on Friday that Roma had indeed submitted a bid
He said: “I think I was quoted as saying on the last press day there had been no bids.
“There has been a bid from Roma. I was told afterwards so I want to put the record straight.
“It was politely declined on the basis it was a low offer.
“What that offer was don’t ask me because I don’t know and I don’t get involved in that.”
Mahrez struggled last season to reproduce the level of performances we saw when Leicester won the league, but the whole side underperformed (or returned to the mean) and it would be wrong to single the Algerian out.
That being said, although he was exceptional in their extraordinary title-winning season, it is worth remembering that Mahrez has only one great season to his name.
If they can, Arsenal will most likely pursue Lemar until the end. Any move for Mahrez would likely not come until the very close of the window.