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Riyad Mahrez Does Not Want The Power

Twelve months ago Leicester were still in party mode after winning a first ever Premier League title a few weeks prior. With a fairytale league success under their belts it allowed fans to dream of not only who would they face in the Champions League but what additional faces would arrive at the King Power Stadium over the course of the Summer.

Adding to a title winning squad is a difficult task because you need to make sure it is evolution not revolution but as Leicester fans are now all too well aware the signings as Champions were well short of the mark as they put up a tame defence of the trophy they won back in 2015.

Another difficult task would have been keeping hold of the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez who were nothing short of instrumental in the Foxes success last season but thankfully for Leicester fans, neither the England or Algerian international felt the need to depart.

That was mainly due to the fact that they would be mixing it with Europe’s elite in the Champions League next season and it must be said they came away from that competition with a very creditable run after bowing out at the Quarter Final stage and winning many admirers along the way.

But with Leicester unable to offer European football to any of their key players next season it was only going to be a matter of time before members of their squad started to look elsewhere and Riyad Mahrez has announced his desire to leave the East Midlands outfit.

The 26-year-old, who joined from French club Le Havre for a reported £400,000 in 2014, said he had agreed “to stay for another season” following “a good discussion with the chairman” after the Foxes won the Premier League last year.

In a statement Mahrez wrote: “Out of the huge admiration and respect I hold for Leicester I wanted to be totally honest and transparent. I have informed the club that I feel now is the time for me to move on.

“I had a good discussion with the chairman last summer and we agreed at that time that I would stay for another year in order to help the club as best as I could following the transition of winning the title and in the Champions League.

“I’ve had the four best seasons of my career at Leicester and have loved every moment. I feel immense pride to have been a part of what we have achieved during my time at the club, culminating in becoming Premier League champions.

“The relationship I share with the club and our amazing fans are something I will treasure forever and I truly hope they will understand and respect my decision.”

So with Mahrez being true to word of staying with Leicester last season it seems as he wants the clubs hierarchy to stick to their end of the bargain by letting him depart for pastures new. 12 months ago, Mahrez was quoted at being worth around £40m.

One thing that the Leicester owners will have to consider is that the Algerian’s stock is arguably not as high as when he won the Premier League with contribution only being 10 goals and 7 assists in what has to be said was a topsy turvy campaign.

Therefore they may feel it is best to maximise their profits and move him on in this transfer window, ultimately whatever they sell him for it is going to be a tidy mark up on the figure they paid back in 2014 but they will certainly want to get as much as they possibly can for him.

If the Leicester board do decide to sell Mahrez and not stand in his way then it will lead to an amicable split but failure to do so will mean that we could have something of an acrimonious transfer saga over the next few weeks and months.

One thing that is for sure is that Mahrez will certainly not be short of suitors both here and on the continent with the likes of Barcelona being long term admirers but that said he would be a very welcome addition to any of the Premier League’s top six this season. It will be interesting to see who starts of what is expected to be a bidding war should Mahrez get his wish of a move away from the King Power the Summer. He like us will now play the waiting game.

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