Riyad Mahrez has made his intentions clear to Leicester City that he wants to leave the club after an inconsistent season. Mahrez reportedly has his heart set on a move to Arsenal, but the Gunners are yet to place any bid for the Algerian.
But now it looks as if the Mahrez deal is off the table as Arsene Wenger has moved his focus elsewhere. According to the Leicester Mercury, Arsenal have now made Monaco’s Thomas Lemar their top priority. The North London club is ready to pay £45 million for the French International and have already made two unsuccessful bids for the 21-year-old. Arsenal have reportedly offered £30 and £40 million for his services but have been turned down each time by Monaco. But Wenger is not yet ready to give up hope.
Arsenal recently signed Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon and if they manage to buy Lemar then it would mean that Mahrez will have no place in the starting eleven. And Wenger will not invest a substantial amount on any kind of second fiddle player.
But the Lemar talks will surely dishearten Riyad Mahrez as he has been hoping to move to Arsenal for quite some time now. Wenger tried to sign the Algerian in the previous summer but somehow that did not materialise forcing Mahrez to stay back at City. But after a rather poor previous season, Wenger is having doubts about Mahrez’s consistency and feels that Lemar will be a much safer bet.
On the other hand, Foxes manager Craig Shakespeare has warned Mahrez that he has to show professionalism or will be left out for the season.
Shakespeare said, “He has to be professional. We have to be professional with him, but, more importantly, he has to be committed.
“If he’s selected, he has to perform and if he doesn’t show commitment he won’t play.”
The Football Fan base view:
The Algerian staying back at Leicester will mean that every involved party will be happy, with the exception of Mahrez himself. The 26-year-old has his heart set on Arsenal for almost two seasons now but his poor form last season has definitely created doubts in the mind of Arsene Wenger.
And the Gunners boss feels that it would be much wiser to spend money on a performing 21-year-old rather than an out of form 26-year-old.