Chelsea worth considering Mahrez, but not at £50m

Chelsea are monitoring Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez after they failed to land Dries Mertens from Napoli, reports the London Evening Standard.

What’s the word?

Antonio Conte is believed to be keen to strengthen his attacking options this summer as his team attempt to cope with Premier League and Champions League demands.

At the end of May, Mahrez released a statement revealing that he has informed Leicester that he wants to move on to another club.

Chelsea have already been linked to the Algerian’s signature, which is believed to be valued at £50m by his club.

Since announcing his intention to leave the King Power Stadium, the transfer speculation around Mahrez has gone quiet, but the London Evening Standard claims that Chelsea have reignited their interest.

The publication states that Conte initially wanted Mertens, but the Belgium international opted to stay at Napoli by signing a new contract last month.

Is Mahrez good enough for Chelsea?

He certainly could be. The 26-year-old was a pivotal figure in Leicester’s shock title-winning campaign.

Mahrez scored 17 league goals and created 11 assists in 37 top-flight appearances, but like many of his teammates, he failed to recreate his form in the 2016-17 season.

Under Claudio Ranieri and then Craig Shakespeare, the winger found the back of the net just six times and created three goals in 36 league outings.

With a star-studded team like Chelsea’s, Mahrez could thrive, but he may not be first choice as both Pedro and Willian were interchangeable on the right side of the attack last season.

Is he worth £50m?

Now, this where the problem lies. Considering today’s market, most top players in their position do carry enormous price tags.

However, Mahrez failed to maintain the form that earned him the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year award.

If he had matched his attacking statistics or bettered them last season, then a figure in the £50m range may not be seen as steep.

As it stands, the Algerian is not worth the staggering amount, but the fact that he has three years remaining on his contract, Leicester are in a relatively good negotiating position.