Arsenal have been dealt a huge blow in their hopes of signing top summer transfer target Riyad Mahrez, with both Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and the club’s owner insisting that the player is not for sale.
The Algerian striker, who has garnered much praise for his remarkable performance in helping the Foxes clinch their first major title win last season, has been repeatedly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.
However, it seems this deal could fall apart in similar fashion to Jamie Vardy’s reported transfer to the Gunners earlier this summer.
Claudio Ranieri insists that the club’s star winger is not for sale after Leicester City’s loss of Kante to Stamford Bridge through a buyout clause. The Tinkerman then went on to confirm that the owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is strongly against cashing in on the former Le Havre ace.
The Independent quote Ranieri as saying: “The chairman told me at the beginning, when we spoke, that we want to keep everybody.
“Kante had a clause and wanted to go, but the others stay with us.”
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The manager went on to say their standing contract with three years remaining is sufficient to retain the PFA Player of the Year.
“He has a contract for another three years,” Ranieri added. “Why does he have to sign? He has money and everything.”
This news comes in light of a report that the north London giants are readying an improved bid for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi.
A failure to land Mahrez would be a huge blow for Arsenal, and may prove to be the last straw for the disgruntled fans waiting on a marquee signing. Wenger’s crew have been in the hunt for a striker, with Alexandre Lacazette tipped as their top target, but even that deal is yet to be done and dusted.
Either of the two aforementioned targets would gravely help the Gunners’ in their 2016/17 title bid. Sign both, and that would shoot Arsenal up to title favorites. Land none, and Gooners may have to wait another year to see their club win the Premier League.