Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has fanned the flames of rumour that Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez may be a transfer target by claiming he knows what happened with the Algerian’s failed deadline day move to Manchester City.
Mahrez has gone on strike since a deadline day move to the Citizens collapsed and has not played since. He is expected to miss out once again this weekend, as the Foxes travel to the Etihad Stadium this weekend.
Talking about the Mahrez situation, Wenger told the press: “You want the clubs to behave well and the players to behave well. In the case of Mahrez which I know a bit the story, I wouldn’t want to come out on that”.
Is that really a transfer hint?
Mahrez has been linked with a move to Arsenal on a number of occasions in the last few years, most notably in the summer after the Foxes won the Premier League title. The winger is currently odds of 11/2 to join the Gunners in the summer.
However, the Gunners are by no means the favourites to the Algerian, though. Manchester City are the favourites to return to sign the highly-rated forward in the summer.
Some fans and media outlets have taken Wenger statement as a hint that the Gunners will make a summer move for Mahrez. Whether it was or not, there does seem to be interest in Mahrez.
Could Arsenal accommodate another attacking midfielder?
Arsenal’s January signings of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coupled with German playmaker Mesut Ozil signing a new deal, the Gunners are now well stocked in the forward areas.
The likes of Ozil and Mkhitaryan will provide the flair and creativity for the team. Could a Gunners team that can be weak defensively really accommodate another free spirit in Mahrez?
No Mahrez has talent. However, strengthening in the attacking midfield roles does not seem to be the priority for the summer for boss Arsene Wenger. Surely, the veteran French boss will be targeting defensive reinforcements, rather defensive ones. However, nothing can be ruled out with Wenger. He does like his attacking midfielders.
The Mahrez saga looks set to run and run. It looks likely that Leicester will sell the winger in the summer, as the situation is now turning toxic. Whether north London is his next destination is unclear. However, I am sure Arsene Wenger will be monitoring the situation very closely.
Should Arsenal make a summer move for Riyad Mahrez?