This summer was supposed to be an exciting one for Leicester.
The Foxes pulled off the incredible 5000/1 shot of winning the Premier League and, with the lure of Champions League football and the money that comes with it, they are expected to add world-class talent to their squad.
However, it seems as though Claudio Ranieri and the Leicester chiefs will spend the next couple of months trying to keep hold of their star players, rather than signing them.
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It all began with Arsenal triggering the £20 million release clause of Jamie Vardy and, while the striker’s future is still unclear, there are fears this bid may have a domino effect.
Vardy was one of three standout players for last season’s champions with N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez being the other two.
Ever since interest has been shown in Vardy, there have also been reports linking both Kante and Mahrez away from the club.
Kante has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain but it’s Mahrez that the club are understandably most concerned about. The Algerian notched 17 goals and produced 11 assists last campaign and the winger is attracting plenty of interest across Europe.
But Leicester have responded by offering him a massive £100,000-per-week deal in an attempt to keep him at the King Power Stadium. That’s according to the Telegraph who also claim that they will slap a £30 million price-tag on him if he turns down the contract offer.
Last weekend, Mahrez poured doubt over his Leicester future by refusing to rule out a transfer: He said: "Nothing is agreed, nothing is done. We will see. For the moment I have not made a decision. We will see. It is possible that I stay, it is possible that I leave.
"The season went very well. We have won the league which was very important. It is incredible. It was by far my best season in my career.
"I am not putting pressure on myself (for next season). It will be a season about confirming (my ability). Without pressure, I will have to work hard... Leicester is a family club. I would like to stay. I am very happy.”
Will it be enough?
But Leicester hope that offering Mahrez a £5.2 million-per-year pay packet is enough to convince him to remain at the club he signed for two and a half years ago for just £400,000.
Both Arsenal and Manchester United are sniffing around but it’s believed that, unlike Vardy, Mahrez doesn’t have a release clause in his contract.
Whether Leicester can fend off the so-called bigger clubs for their star players remains to be seen, but they’re trying their upmost to do so.
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