The man we were all itching to see in a Gunners jersey this summer has revealed Arsenal were set to sign him if it wasn’t for Leicester’s resilience.
Football’s most recent PFA Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez, has confirmed the North London side were interested in securing his services during the transfer window.
It was one of the most talked about rumours surfacing on Twitter every day and after multiple ups and downs, it appears Mahrez was forced to stay put with the champions.
According to the player himself, who was talking to Canal Football Club (transcribed by The Telegraph), the Premier League winners did everything to keep hold of their star man.
There was contact with Arsenal but Leicester wanted to keep me and I was pretty expensive.
I didn’t want to start a conflict when the offer came in. Personally, I think it’s a good thing that I stayed put.
It’s now up to me to prove myself again.
It’s interesting that these comments come at this stage in the season, where Leicester haven’t had the most convincing of starts in the league following the departure of N’golo Kante.
Claudio Ranieri was powerless to letting the defensive midfielder leave for Chelsea which made his desire to keep hold of Mahrez and Jamie Vardy even stronger.
You have to think that the Algerian is now contemplating the possibility of linking up with the Gunners, who have now won five league games in a row.
Despite signing a new contract in August, the upcoming transfer window could be a key moment in Mahrez’s future, with so many European giants keen to land him.
The news may have some repercussions on the mentality of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who might be having a different season if Mahrez was at the Emirates.