Could Mahrez to Arsenal still be on the cards?
Last season's PFA player of the year Riyad Mahrez has confirmed that Arsenal were interested in securing his services over the summer. The Leicester winger revealed the Gunners' interest in a recent interview on French television although he has since signed a new contract with the Premier League champions.
Reports in August suggested that Arsenal had offered a fee of around £35 million for the players' services and Mahrez expressed his desire to leave the King Power stadium. However the Algerian international eventually agreed a new four-year contract with Leicester as he did not want to cause a conflict with the club.
This however has not stopped the speculation over his long-term future and according to some reports, a transfer to the Emirates could still materialise. In his new contract it is believed that Mahrez has a 'gentleman's agreement' that would allow him to leave if the club received an offer of around £40 million. As well as being linked with a move for Mahrez, the Gunners are also reportedly after Burnley centre back Michael Keane.
Ladbrokes are currently offering a market on these moves happening and Dave Burin from their news department has said: “Wenger is quickly shaking off his ‘cautious’ tag in the transfer market, and snapping up Mahrez and Keane in January would leave Gooners in a winter wonderland.”
At present they are offering odds of 4/1 on Mahrez to join during the January transfer window and just 2/1 for him to make the switch next summer. Keane on the other hand would be a slightly more surprising summer given the Gunners' expensive addition of Shkodran Mustafi in the summer as is currently priced at 6/1 to make a January switch to the Emirates.
Mahrez was in sparkling form last season as he was one of the catalysts for Leicester's remarkable Premier League title winning campaign. His 17 league goals and a further 11 assists saw him crowned the division's best player and it was little surprise to see him linked with a move away in the summer. This season he has found the back of the net just once in the league so far but few can doubt his obvious talent.
Keane meanwhile has impressed at the heart of Burnley's defence on their return to the top flight and has recently won his first call-up to the senior England side. His performances have seen him earn admiring glances from not only Arsenal but also Chelsea and Leicester.
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