Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez is reportedly prepared to push for a summer exit with Arsenal said to be his preferred destination. The Algeria international came close to joining Manchester City during the winter of 2018 but the Premier League holders were not able to finalise an agreement with the east Midlands outfit.
According to The Express, the 27-year-old could be pushing for a fresh challenge away form the King Power Stadium in the summer after failing to do so in the previous two transfer windows. On both occasions, Mahrez had handed in a transfer request but unfortunately none of the interested clubs could match the Foxes’ price tag.
As per The Express, Mahrez has a particular preference to join the Gunners ahead of City in the summer as he already owns a house in the English capital. Should the Gunners fail to make an approach, the former Le Havre graduate has identified Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea as possible alternatives.
Mahrez has been out of the Foxes squad on a couple of occasions this term owing to issues over his commitment but he has still performed to the best of his abilities with 10 goals and eight assists across all competitions.
The Gunners were hotly in the pursuit of Mahrez shortly after his Premier League triumph in 2016 but the club appear to have since moved on with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being added to the forward department.
Moreover, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang only arrived during the backend of the winter transfer window and the Gunners’ hierarchy may show more importance towards other departments ahead of the summer transfer window.
Arsenal have often been vulnerable in the central defensive and goalkeeping positions and the focus may lie on reinforcing these areas first before pondering over the prospect of recruiting another attacker. Mahrez’s current £80m valuation would remain too step for the Gunners in any case.