Saturday 22 October 2016

Reports: Leicester City star turns down massive pay bump with La Liga giants among possible suitors

Tom Rooney

Published 16/07/2016 | 08:06

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Riyad Mahrez (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Riyad Mahrez (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Leicester City attacker Riyad Mahrez is said to have told his agents to begin the process of finding him a new club, despite the Premier League champions proposing a new deal that would more than double his wages.

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Mahrez, who was a key component in the Foxes’ unheralded title winning tilt last season, is barely 12 months into the three year deal he signed with the midlands side, which is thought to be worth £35k a week.

However, the Guardian are reporting this morning that after discussions with Leicester, he is set to turn down the offer of a new contract that would see his weekly windfall increased to £80k.

The Algerian playmaker was bought from French side Le Havre in 2014 and, until his incredible exploits during the recent campaign, was a largely unknown quantity.

But after contributing a combined 28 goals and assists to Leicester’s cause, he is now coveted by a number of the biggest sides in England and Europe. La Liga champions Barcelona are thought to be eager to bring him to the Nou Camp.

The news is in stark contrast to remarks made by Leicester manger Claudio Ranieri earlier this week in Austria, when it was put to him that Mahrez was eager to depart the King Power Stadium.

“He remains with us. He’s not the kind of man who will say: ‘Coach I want to leave.’ He is happy here,” he told the media.

It is thought that the 25-year-old - named PFA Player of the Year in May - covets a chance to play with one of the elite clubs in the European game and, indeed, he’ll have no shortage of suitors.

The blow compounds the news that powerful midfielder N’Golo Kante will move to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea after a deal was agreed between the two clubs yesterday.

Amidst interest from Arsenal during the recent European Championships, Jamie Vardy committed his future to Leicester.

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