Aug 31, 2017
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Barcelona hold £46 million talks with Leicester for Riyadh Mahrez – Is a deal likely?

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Riyadh Mahrez could finally be on his way out of the King Power Stadium as Spanish newspaper AS, who say that Barcelona are in talks over a €50 million (£46 million) deal for the Algerian winger.

What would Mahrez bring to the Camp Nou?

Barcelona are clearly looking to add strength in depth to the flanks following the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, and there are few better wingers in the game than Mahrez.

With a great cross and incredible creativity, there aren’t many players who create as many opportunities as Mahrez does. Putting him alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, rather than Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki, would only see his assist tally sky rocket.

He is also capable of scoring plenty himself, with a superb shot from distance. Mahrez, like Neymar previously and Messi at the Camp Nou, often looks to drift or cut inside to have a shot at goal himself. He seems a natural fit.

Is a move likely?

The Algerian national team confirmed on Twitter late on Wednesday night that Mahrez had left their camp in order to finalise a move away from Leicester City, so it would certainly seem highly likely that some kind of deal will be reached before the 11pm deadline is passed.

Mahrez did hand in a transfer request in May, according to the Independent, but the Foxes have been reluctant to allow one of their key players to depart. They rejected a £32 million bid from Roma earlier this summer, as reported by Goal, who then claimed that the former Premier League champions wanted £40 million for the winger.

Barcelona are clearly looking to add to their squad as they enter the final 48 hours of their transfer window, which closes at 5pm on Friday, rather than 11pm on Thursday as in the U.K. It does not seem that Mahrez is first choice, but he could be a cheap alternative to the likes of Philippe Coutinho or Angel di Maria.

Mahrez to Barcelona
Reader Rating1 Vote2.85
Transfer Likelihood
The Boot Room's Verdict
Having been released from the Algeria squad, a move is now inevitable. Barcelona seems a likely destination.
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Barcelona · Leicester City · Transfers

Sam is a Southend United fan and student based in the South-West. He has previously worked for various publications, including FourFourTwo magazine and ITV. Sam also has an extensive knowledge of Spanish football and has previously lived and worked in Spain. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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