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Leicester's Mahrez wants to snub Liverpool for Arsenal

By Snehajan Banerjee
Riyad Mahrez (right) of Leicester City

Bengaluru, January 13: Leicester City star winger Riyad Mahrez wants a move to Arsenal and not Liverpool, according to latest reports.

The Algerian handed in a transfer request last summer, and it was expected he would move on to one of Europe's biggest clubs.

However, a bid was not forthcoming despite rumoured interest from the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and even Spanish giants Barcelona.

Recent reports suggest the Algerian was close to moving to the Reds in a deal worth around £50million following Philippe Coutinho's departure to join Barcelona.

However, Mahrez reportedly prefers a move to Arsenal, as he has "recently bought property in the capital of England".

A source close to Mahrez quashed reports that the 26-year-old had been in talks with Liverpool officials.

And the advisor insisted the France-born player will not seek to force a move away from the King Power Stadium - even though he harbours hopes of joining a "big club."

Speaking to Algerian sports paper Le Buteur, the source said: "I read some media reports about Riyad making an eventual move to Liverpool.

"But if you want the truth, we don't know anything about this. Until there is proof to the contrary, there has been no official contact with Liverpool.

"I was surprised to hear so much nonsense suggesting Riyad had already signed a deal with Liverpool.

"He has been far away from England, in Dubai for a bit of a rest. He has not been able to sign anything - he has been totally cut off from the world of football.

"Riyad is a very important part of Leicester's squad. They have promised him that he can leave if the club that wants to buy him meets their asking price.

"I think that if he does leave Leicester, it will happen close to when the transfer window closes. The negotiations will surely take a lot of time.

"I can confirm that Riyad still wants to leave Leicester for a big club.

"However, we must wait for firm offers to come in for this to happen.

"Riyad is very ambitious. But you can be sure that he won't try to force through a move just so he can leave.

"Despite all that has been said about his future transfer, Riyad remains completely focused on playing for Leicester.

"He isn't concerned about the rumours doing the rounds, even though I've no doubt they annoy him.

"But as long as no deal is done, he will continue to be fully committed to Leicester, just the way he has always been."

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    Story first published: Saturday, January 13, 2018, 15:36 [IST]
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