Monday 19 February 2018

Leicester striker Riyad Mahrez agrees to join Arsenal - reports

Riyad Mahrez celebrates for Leicester last season
Riyad Mahrez celebrates for Leicester last season
Riyad Mahrez celebrates with team mates after scoring the first goal for Leicester Photo: Getty

Mark Critchley

Riyad Mahrez, the Leicester City winger, has agreed to join Arsenal as part of a €50m (£41.8m) deal, according to unconfirmed reports in France.

The Algeria international, who was voted PFA Player of the Year last season for his performances in Leicester’s remarkable title-winning campaign, has apparently settled on leaving the defending Premier League champions.

According to Eurosport France, Mahrez is ready to swap the King Power Stadium for the Emirates after being “seduced” by Arsenal, who have been consistently linked with the 25-year-old in recent months.

Contrary to the reports emerging from France on Saturday, Claudio Ranieri, the Leicester manager, told journalists on Wednesday that it was Mahrez’s wish to stay with the club.

“Yes, he wants to stay," Ranieri said, when asked directly whether he has spoken to Mahrez about his future.

If he were to join Arsenal, Mahrez would become the second key player to leave Leicester this summer, following the departure of N’Golo Kanté, who sealed a £32m transfer to Chelsea last week.

Mahrez scored 17 goals during the 2015/16 season – more than any individual Arsenal player – and registered 11 assists, the fifth-most in the division.

Mahrez joined Leicester from Le Havre in 2014 for approximately £400,000 and has three years remaining on his current contract.

(© Independent News Service)

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