According to reports on Italian website Calciomercato, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is set to step up his attempts to sign Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez in the coming days and a deal could be done as early as next week, with The Sun saying he could cost around £35m.
Well, the Algerian wide-man is keen to leave the Foxes this summer in search of regular European football, and Calciomercato say that Wenger has given the club the green light to push ahead with a move for the 26-year-old.
The French manager is known to be a keen admirer of the 2016 PFA Player of the Year, and he wants to bring him to the Emirates this summer following a disappointing Premier League season in which they failed to qualify for the Champions League – although they did end the campaign with a trophy after lifting the FA Cup.
While he was exceptional as Leicester lifted the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 season by scoring 18 goals and providing a further 10 assists, he was certainly less influential last term in a disappointing campaign for the Foxes.
The Algerian netted 10 goals and picked up seven assists in 48 appearances in all competitions, with four of his goals coming in the Champions League.
He certainly would be.
While he may not have struggled to replicate the form he showed in Leicester’s title-winning campaign last season, there is no doubt that Mahrez has the quality to play for the best teams in the Premier League.
His pace, skill and finishing ability would mean that he would be a useful addition to the Arsenal frontline, and he wouldn’t need any time to adapt to the English game as a player moving from abroad would.
Arsenal ended last season playing a 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-3 formation and if Mahrez did complete a move to the Gunners, he would almost certainly play either as a wide forward in the 3-4-3 system or behind the striker in the 3-4-2-1.
Wenger may consider that he could play as a wing-back in that formation too, but it would probably be too much of a big risk defensively.
Well, there is no doubt that Mahrez would be a good addition for Arsenal as they look to significantly improve next season, and a deal could be done sooner rather than later if rumours are to be believed.