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Attacker To Join Arsenal ‘Soon’ As Gunners Line-Up Improved £35m Bid
The Mahrez-to-Arsenal saga took another twist today after a L’Equipe journalist claimed that the Leicester attacker will join Arsenal ‘soon’ as we prepare to table an improved £35m offer.
Mahrez has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates this summer with Eurosport FR reporting last month that the attacker had held talks with Arsene Wenger about a possible move.
We then had reports from Algeria claiming that Mahrez had agreed personal terms with Arsenal while a Eurosport FR journalist then suggested just yesterday that the 25-year-old had made it clear to all parties that he wanted to move to north London after rejecting Leicester’s contract extension.
There has been a further development today as L’Equipe correspondent Gilles Favard claims that Arsenal are set to table an improved £35m offer for Mahrez after seeing our initial £30m offer rejected by the Foxes.
Favard goes on to say that Mahrez wants to join Arsenal and a move should be agreed ‘soon’. His tweets were in French but they roughly translate to say:
“Marhez. Arsenal have made an offer of 30 million pounds rejected by Leicester!”
“Marhez wants to join the Gunners”
“Arsenal to make a bid of 35 million pounds! Mahrez is a priority for Wenger”
“Mahrez to join Arsenal soon”
Obviously the fact that Favard works for a reputable outlet like L’Equipe has got Arsenal fans excited by the thought that we could be on the verge of signing Mahrez.
To add further fuel to the fire, Guardian journalist Ed Aarons then claimed that Mahrez’s agent had met with the Leicester director of football today amid reports of a £35m Arsenal bid.
— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) August 10, 2016
While most would agree that a centre-back and striker should be the priority right now given our shortage in those areas, Mahrez would be an excellent addition to the squad.
I’ve said all along that if we do sign the Algerian international, then I think we’ll see Theo Walcott sold, unless Wenger plans to end his striker pursuit and use Walcott as a back-up striker to Giroud – which would be ludicrous.
Assuming our main targets for a centre-back and striker are Mustafi and Lacazette, those two will set us back around £60m so we won’t have £35m [at least] left to buy Mahrez as well unless we raise extra funds from a player sale.
Let’s see how things develop but in all honesty, I’ll still be surprised if we do end up signing Mahrez this summer.