Since joining in 2014, Riyad Mahrez has been an ever-present player in what’s regarded as the greatest era in the club’s history. His dazzling play on the right-wing has provided us with so many memories, and watching him to present, I have come to appreciate having a player of Mahrez’s quality at the club.
Having tried on two occasions to get a move away from the club, this summer might just be the one where Mahrez will finally get the transfer he desires. This summer is quite an important one for Leicester, and the expected task of finding a replacement for the 27 year old will only add to its importance. The club have already been linked with potential replacements of the Algerian, and it is something Leicester have to get right in a couple of months time when the window opens.
In terms of a transfer actually taking place in the summer transfer window, ESPN reported in February that the Leicester hierarchy are reluctant to sell Mahrez to a Premier League rival. Should he insist on leaving at the end of the season, it is thought the Foxes would be looking to sell Mahrez to a club in Europe. This would make better sense from our point of view, as selling Riyad to a Premier League rival would obviously be a negative for us.
The issue that could re-occur in the summer is whether clubs will agree to pay the full asking price for Mahrez, something which historically hasn’t happened. Should this happen again in the summer, a rerun of January’s antics would not be ideal especially for the club’s own transfer business. There is the possibility that Mahrez could stay, and in which case if he can continue to perform for us, it will indefinitely benefit our 2018/2019 campaign.
Something which does deserve noting is how Mahrez has performed since January. I was concerned due to the issues off the pitch he may return to the unimpressive performances of 2016/17, but since January Riyad has helped contribute to the club’s current position in the table.
Like the team, Mahrez’s form has dipped in recent weeks but for how he has played in this second half of the season, he has certainly helped his chances of being signed in the summer. Whilst I didn’t agree with how Mahrez handled the Manchester City situation in January, I also feel some sympathy in the fact that he wants to go onto bigger things, and he is worthy of that.
When it comes to the negotiations, Riyad won’t go in the summer unless it’s a price which fits Leicester, as proven before when Man City failed to reach the requested fee in January. The Thai owners are only going to accept a deal which is first and foremost, good enough for their party.
I suspect £75M is the sort of price Leicester representatives will be looking at again this summer. Although it is thought the club might be a little more lenient in their asking price this time around, perhaps appreciating Mahrez’s wishes, too.
How much is Riyad Mahrez worth?
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Less than £50M