Leicester City’s Algerian star Riyad Mahrez was the subject of much transfer speculation over the summer, but the Foxes were able to keep hold of their attacking maestro – but following the departure of Craig Shakespeare yesterday, questions will once again be raised over the future of Mahrez at the King Power Stadium
Only a couple of days ago, Shakespeare had lauded the efforts of Mahrez after his unsettling summer, stating how Mahrez had ‘worked hard’ for the Club in resurrecting something like his best form – and it was his goal that earned Leicester a point against West Bromwich Albion in their Monday evening Premier League clash.
But clubs will see the departure of Shakespeare as an opportunity to again make a move for Mahrez – and with the January transfer window fast approaching, and Leicester floundering towards the foot of the league table after a poor start to their season, they may get much more joy than they did in the summer. Lets look at some of the potential suitors for Mahrez :
Likely to be considered favourites for Mahrez, Arsenal will want to move swiftly and decisively to secure a name such as Mahrez, to temper the likely losses of want-away stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. You could certainly see Mahrez playing in an Arsenal shirt with Wenger liking his pace and fluid style of football and linking up with Lacazette and Giroud. But Arsenal will be concerned they may not have Champions League football to offer Mahrez, which will be high on his list of priorities after tasting it last season with Leicester.
Consistently linked with Mahrez and they are certainly wanting to add quality to their talented squad – but finances could well be the problem here. Leicester have stood firm with their valuation of Mahrez in the past and this is not likely to have dropped significantly between the summer and January transfer windows. Spurs don’t have overly deep pockets due to their commitment to their rebuild of White Hart Lane and if the asking price is anything like the £40/£50 million Leicester were wanting, this could see them out of the running.
The third London club who are certainly in the running, and will again be wanting a definitive move for the player after being frustrated so often in the summer, and having a stuttering start to the season, with injuries and discipline affecting any momentum they were looking to build. But they will still feel they will have an edge over their London rivals, money shouldn’t be an issue, and Mahrez could just fancy a link up with Fabregas, Hazard, Morata and Co at the Bridge.
The Italians were early pace setters in the chase for Mahrez, but interest seems to have cooled, with the consensus that Mahrez seemed to favour remaining in England rather than a move to Serie A. Roma currently lie fifth in the table but are already a fair distance behind run away leaders Napoli and Inter Milan. But they have started their Champions League campaign well and have a top of the group clash with Chelsea tonight. Whilst Leicester aren’t truly in the position to prefer Mahrez to move abroad so as not to strengthen rival Premier League teams, they could well float Mahrez around Italy and Spain – and Roma could yet reignite their interest and invite Mahrez to be the long term replacement for retired legend Francesco Totti.
WHERE DO YOU THINK RIYAD MAHREZ WILL END UP? LET US KNOW BELOW!!!