Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez has revealed Arsenal did approach him last summer but the Premier League Champions didn’t want to sell.
Mahrez played a key role in Leicester’s title winning campaign and was frequently linked to a move to the Emirates over the summer but a deal failed to materialise.
However, now the Algerian has confirmed the Gunners attempted to sign him but the midfielder refused to put pressure on Claudio Ranieri and the club to let him leave for the North London side.
“There was contact with Arsenal,” Mahrez told Canal Football Club.
“But Leicester wanted to keep me and I was pretty expensive.
“I did not want to create a conflict when the offer came in.”
- Ornstein: Arsenal Want Francis Cagigao To Replace Mislintat
- [Team News] Arsenal v Manchester United – Gunners Confirm The Worst With Hector Bellerin’s Injury
- Official: Arsenal Confirm Sven Mislintat Will Leave The Club
The 25-year-old ended any further speculation over joining the Gunners by signing a new contract with Leicester keeping him with the defending champions until 2020.
Mahrez won the PFA Player of the Year award for his outstanding performance last season with 17 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League. The midfielder has failed to live up to his previous standards scoring only a single goal in seven league appearances this season and admits he needs to prove his worth.
“Personally, I think it is a good thing I stayed put,” Mahrez added.
“It’s now up to me to prove myself again.”
Arsenal also tried to sign striker Jamie Vary who also chose to stick with the Foxes. Both of the players have yet to shine for Leicester who currently stand 12th in the league.
The Gunners on the other hand are enjoying a great start to the season sitting third trailing two points behind the current leaders Manchester City.
Trying to sign Mahrez and Vardy wasn’t a bad idea, but it seems Wenger has done a decent job in the summer transfer market and the squad has fared well in the league so far. Only time will prove if the duo made the right decision with their careers but their choice hasn’t really hurt the Gunners.