Sunday 18 March 2018

Riyad Mahrez expects Leicester to honour their agreement to let him leave

Riyad Mahrez wants to leave Leicester in search of Champions League football, according to reports
Riyad Mahrez wants to leave Leicester in search of Champions League football, according to reports

Matt Law

Riyad Mahrez expects Leicester City to honour the agreement they struck last summer and allow him to leave at the end of this season, which will spark interest from, among others, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

Mahrez believes that he has honoured his side of the bargain after giving Leicester another season following their Premier League title success, as former manager Claudio Ranieri requested.

Now Mahrez will tell the Foxes that he wants the club to keep Ranieri’s word and let him make a big-money move that will allow him to keep playing in Europe and challenging for trophies next season.

Barcelona have been linked with Mahrez, while Marseille are also thought to be interested, but the 26-year-old would be open to remaining in the Premier League.

North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal are both on the lookout for a wide player this summer and are likely to renew their interest in Mahrez, who Leicester value at more than £30 million.

Spurs made an enquiry over Mahrez in the January transfer window and remain in the market for a player of his type, particularly as they face strong competition for Wilfired Zaha, who Crystal Palace are prepared to pay £110,000-a-week.

Arsenal looked at Mahrez last summer before he decided to sign a new contract at Leicester that runs until 2020 and is not thought to include a buy-out clause.

That means Tottenham and Arsenal will have to negotiate a price for Mahrez, whose performances, like Leicester’s, have been inconsistent this season but have still contained plenty of flashes of brilliance from the title-winning season.

Mahrez scored his 10th Leicester goal of the season in the victory over Watford last weekend and has finished the campaign in much better form.

Chelsea could join Tottenham and Arsenal in the hunt for Mahrez if they sell Willian, who has been frustrated at losing his starting place to Pedro.

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