Rumours have been flying around in recent weeks that Arsenal are on the trail of Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, and Arsene Wenger has now had his say on the potential deal.
Mahrez’s electrifying form in his first season at Leicester attracted interest from a host of top clubs around the world, with Barcelona among the favourites to sign the Algerian international before he agreed to stick by the Foxes for one more year.
It didn’t turn out to be the season Mahrez and many fans of the club were hoping for, however, with Leicester’s appalling form earning title-winning boss Claudio Ranieri the sack just months after the club’s greatest achievement.
Despite a series of poor displays, a stronger finish to the season from Leicester has ensured there is still interest in many of the stars of their Premier League title run.
Despite being rejected by Foxes striker Jamie Vardy last summer, Arsenal are rumoured to be closing in on 26-year-old Mahrez, with sources indicating the deal could be worth up to £50m.
Per Bien Sport, Wenger said: “Have we made a bid for him? No. Not yet.
“Not yet means it could happen, it could not happen.”
Wenger is looking to strengthen the attacking options of his squad after Arsenal’s underwhelming season, and was full of praise when asked about the 2016 PFA Player of the Year.
“I think he had a huge impact at Leicester when they won the championship, like everybody else,” he continued.
“It’s been a different season this year but that doesn’t take anything away from his qualities.”
In classic Arsene Wenger style, he didn’t give a straight answer, but was surprisingly clear when asked about the futures of key men Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
The pair’s futures have been under scrutiny for some time, with speculation mounting that they no longer wanted to stay at the Emirates.
However, when asked if they would leave the club, Wenger replied: “No. Hopefully we can extend their contracts.”
Star man Sanchez has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich, but Wenger was keen to stress that both players would remain at the club for at least another year.
One forward who does look to be heading for the exit, however, is Lucas Perez.
The Spaniard has played well during his limited first-team opportunities, but that lack of game time has prompted him to seek other options, with the club apparently willing to listen to offers of €15m.
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