Riyad Mahrez has left his national team training camp in order to finalise a move away from Leicester, although it’s unlikely he will be joining Arsenal.
The news comes courtesy of the Algerian Football Federation via Sky Sports. They gave a statement on Wednesday saying: “Leicester City’s Algerian international Riyad Mahrez…was authorised by the national coach Lucas Alcaraz and the Algerian Football Federation to make an express trip to Europe to formalise on Thursday his transfer to his new club.
“The national team will fly without him on Thursday morning to Lusaka to face Zambia on Saturday.”
The statement momentarily got some Arsenal fans excited that a move to North London could be on the cards for the Algerian international. However, these hopes were quickly dampened by the reliable David Ornstein, who claims that whoever the interested club is, it isn’t Arsenal.
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) August 31, 2017
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, although it seems to many fans it has. Arsène Wenger has had the whole summer to make a move for the player who made a transfer request back in May and hasn’t done so.
Wenger even publicly stated that “we were never close” to Mahrez and that “we have plenty of the same type of players”. With Oxlade-Chamberlain on the way out, fans want to believe that there is someone coming in the other direction. But at the moment, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
So more likely is either Mahrez has agreed to join another club, or possibly the 26-year-old simply asked for the day off to try and force a move, Odemwingie-style.
As the day goes on we should know more.