After a summer and a half of speculation, Leicester City have received their first genuine transfer offer for Riyad from Italian side AS Roma. That’s good news. The bad news is that the offer of £20m falls a long way short of the Foxes’ own valuation of the player.
BREAKING NEWS: Leicester reject £20m bid from Roma for Riyad Mahrez, according to Sky in Italy. #SSN— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) July 15, 2017
The Serie A runners up would be able to offer Mahrez the Champions League football he’s looking for and are looking to replace Mohamed Salah, who they sold to Liverpool for £37m. Unlike Mahrez, the Egypt international has just strung two consecutive seasons great seasons together, but neither of them quite reached the heights of the Algerian’s 2015/16 season.
Salah came with more Champions League experience than Mahrez, but has produced fewer combined goals and assists across his three UCL campaigns than the Leicester man managed last year.
I’m not trying to say that Mahrez is better, but I am trying to say that one is not worth twice the other, and it’s absurd for Roma to suggest that he is.
Leicester, of course, have rejected the bid, and hopefully this will encourage the Italian side to come back with an increased offer. Even better would be if this could push Arsenal in the direction of making a bid of their own to drive the price up, but I wouldn't expect that they will until the Thomas Lemar situation is clearer.
This is definitely a step in the right direction of the club and Mahrez going their separate ways, it’s just...not a very big one.