Transfer news: Leicester City set to complete deal for Le Havre winger Riyad Mahrez

Championship leaders set to add Mahrez to their squad as the Foxes eye promotion to the Premier League

Samuel Stevens
Wednesday 08 January 2014 12:40 GMT
Leicester City are set to complete deal for Le Havre winger Riyad Mahrez
Leicester City are set to complete deal for Le Havre winger Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson is on the verge of signing Le Havre winger Riyad Mahrez as the East Midlands club chase promotion to the Premier League.

Pearson, whose side narrowly missed out on a place in the Championship play-off final last season, has scouted the 22-year-old for a number of months and is set to finally complete a deal.

Alongside chief-scout Steve Walsh, the former Southampton and Hull City boss would appear to be confident that Mahrez can replicate Anthony Knockaert's impressive stint in English football.

The winger signed at the King Power Stadium in 2012 from Guingamp and has scored twelve times for the Foxes.

Reports in France suggest that Leicester have agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Mahrez but are yet to settle on a fee with Le Havre.

Speculation over a possible move began in September as the French-Algerian winger suggested on Twitter that a move to the Championship leaders, four points clear of second-placed Burnley, could be on the cards.

However Leicester are stubborn to pay the €500,000 requested by the Ligue 2 club and are looking to negotiate the fee into more reasonable territory.

When asked about any possible arrivals - including former Crystal Palace striker Kevin Phillips - Pearson was typically coy.

"I don't like to talk about another manager's players," he told BBC Radio Leicester. "I don't have too much problem with other people talking about it, but I choose to do it in a way you are accustomed to.

"If there is any news, you would hear in time.

"If there is any business to be done and we can do it, then fine. But then again, my stance is the same, I am not going to get involved in speculating about names, whether they are players with other clubs or not.

"If we can add to it and improve the squad, we will do it. If I can't, I won't."

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