Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez has revealed only “two or three clubs” could tempt him away from the Premier League champions following a summer of continued media speculation about his future.
The Algerian won the PFA Player of the Year award after helping the Foxes win a first top-flight title in their 132-year existence last season, prompting reports in France that Arsenal were considering an offer in excess of £40m.
The north London club, however, are unlikely to make a move for Mahrez during this transfer window as Leicester continue to reiterate that they are unwilling to sell their prized asset despite struggling to convince him to agree an improved contract.
Speaking to France Football this week, the 26-year-old said: “[The Premier League] is a super league and I would like to stay here as long as possible.
“Now, there are two or three clubs in the world, that if they come for me, it definitely makes you think, if you understand what I am trying to say.”
Mahrez was pictured staying in the same London hotel as Chelsea manager Antonio Conte last week following Leicester’s Community Shield defeat by Manchester United but the former Le Havre midfielder has moved to clarify the reports.
“It's true that, in England, they're crazy about it. Last Sunday, after a game, we were in the same hotel as Chelsea and that was a story. They find the smallest detail to be a part of your life.
“I know how to deal with it. After all, I'm not David Beckham.”
Discussing the impact of manager Claudio Ranieri on his career, Mahrez reserved special praise for the Italian who guided Leicester to the Premier League title last season despite starting the campaign as favourites for relegation.
“He immediately took me under his wing and gave me a lot of confidence,” Mahrez said. “And he has brought me to be more rigorous with my game. The result of that: last year, I defended like a crazy person.
“He made me understand that if one of us did not defend, we were dead. With him, I also timed better the moments where one needs to press, when one needs to peel off, things like that.”
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