Mahrez opens up about failed Arsenal deal

By: Aveek Chakraborty

Riyad Mahrez

Bengaluru, November 3: Leicester City ace Riyad Mahrez in a recent interview with Daily Mail has revealed just how close he came to joining Arsenal last summer.

The Algerian played a big part in Leicester's fairytale Premier League winning campaign in 2015/16 where he won the PFA Player of the Year award and registered 17 goals, 11 assists.

His superb exhibitions drew attention from all the clubs and many top clubs wanted to sign the Algerian winger, with Arsenal, rumoured to be the leaders in signing Mahrez that Summer.

It was also supposed that the majority of Leicester's key players would then proceed onward to other top clubs after midfielder N'Golo Kante moved to Chelsea for £30million - where he went ahead to win the title again.

However, the move then did not materialise. But this season again reportedly Arsenal came after the Algerian as a cover to their contract rebel Alexis Sanchez although again nothing developed.

And on Saturday, Riyad Mahrez finally opened about the transfer fiasco and targeted the Leicester City officials for blocking his transfer to the Emirates outfit. He suggested that when Arsenal offer came calling, he was more than charmed and was confident that he will be permitted to leave the club keeping in mind the end goal to sign with Arsene Wenger's side.

He added that Leicester had said that if an appropriate bid was submitted there would be no problem to let him go, however, the club officials never clearly talked to him about the offer and kept everything in dark which finally blocked his move.

“I don't know what happened,' he told.

“N'Golo (Kante) had a (buy-out) clause and when he left they stopped those clauses.

“They said they would never give one to anyone after that.

“'They didn't want to sell me. They said, 'Yes, (there will be) no problem if something comes up', but behind the scenes they were blocking stuff — talking to clubs but just not wanting to sell me.

“But I'm confident. Contract or no contract, I believe I will get to the top. When you have quality, and show it, there's no problem.”

Mahrez has enjoyed a strong start to the current campaign and has registered three goals and four assists to his name.

Story first published: Sunday, December 3, 2017, 12:55 [IST]
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