Claudio Ranieri delivers latest update on Riyad Mahrez amid Arsenal link
Claudio Ranieri is urging Riyad Mahrez to stay at Leicester City beyond the summer
Claudio Ranieri has urged Riyad Mahrez to ignore the reported interest from Arsenal and stay at Leicester City beyond the summer transfer window.
Widespread reports in the French media over the weekend claimed that Arsenal were closing in on a deal to bring the PFA player of the year to Emirates Stadium as Arsene Wenger’s fourth summer signing.
Mahrez is currently in America on Leicester’s pre-season tour as the Foxes continue their preparations ahead of their Premier League title defence.
And Ranieri feels that Mahrez would be better off staying at the King Power Stadium beyond the summer because he can be considered the main man at Leicester City.
Speaking in an interview with ESPN FC, Ranieri said: “I think Mahrez for us is very important as our light.
“If he goes in another big team, there are so many lights, so many stars, why? Stay with us, it’s much better, much better. He’s our champion. If he goes in another team, there are so many champions.
“He knows me, I know him very well and I understand when he plays so-so and I can permit to stay on the pitch. When another manager, when he plays so-so, there are so many other stars I put him on the bench.
“It’s important you give confidence. But if you put him on the bench he gets down. I think, I hope he can stay with us because it’s important for us and it’s important for him.”
Mahrez’s sparkling form helped Leicester win the Premier League title last season as they ended up champions and 10 points ahead of Wenger’s Arsenal side in the table.
The Gunners have not won the Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 season.