Leicester star Riyad Mahrez will almost certainly leave the club this summer… but will do so as a true Foxes legend
Amongst fans, it’s considered generally inevitable the Algerian will finally get his wish to leave the King Power Stadium.
Having tried on two occasions to get a move away from Leicester, it seems fairly certain that this summer, Mahrez will finally get the transfer he desires.
His questionable handling in trying to force a move to Manchester City in January was very disheartening for the fanbase.
But such a player the winger is, Mahrez will still without doubt be regarded as one of the club’s greats.
Since joining in 2014, Mahrez has been an ever-present player in probably the greatest era in the club’s history.
His dazzling play on the right-wing has given us so many memories, and watching him to present, I have come to appreciate having a player of Mahrez’s talent at our club.
This summer is quite an important one for Leicester, but I also feel it might just be the one which works out for Mahrez.
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Expecting his exit in the summer, the club have already been looking at potential replacements, with Thorgan Hazard and James Maddison possible targets.
In terms of a transfer actually taking place in the summer, ESPN reported in February that the club’s 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 Leicester would be looking to sell Mahrez to a club in Europe.
The issue that could re-occur in the summer transfer window 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.
Something worthy of 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 Mahrez has continued with the earlier form he showed in the campaign.
Like his team, Mahrez’s form has dipped recently but for how he has performed in this second half of the season he has certainly helped his chances of being signed in the summer.
Whilst I don’t agree with how Mahrez conducted himself 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 it, Mahrez won’t go in the summer unless it’s a price Leicester are happy with, as proven before when Man City failed in their pursuit.
The club’s Thai owners are only going to accept a deal that is first and foremost, good enough for their party.
Considering the market but also his worth, £75million-plus is the sort of price I’m sure Leicester representatives will be looking at again this summer, and rightly so.
On the flip side, in the case that Mahrez does stay this summer – which is possible – it can only be seen as a positive heading into next season.
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