After it was revealed that Leicester City have rejected a £21 million bid for Riyad Mahrez from Italian side Roma, the Daily Mail claim that the Foxes are still holding out for a bid of £40 million in order to persuade them to sell. The news comes after Mahrez requested a move away from the King Power Stadium earlier this summer.
Why is he worth £40 million?
Very few people would argue against the notion that the winger was one of the best players in Europe as Leicester City romped to the Premier League title in 2016. With 17 goals and 11 assists in 37 games, he dominated the top flight with his creativity and exquisite distribution and finishing.
That has also boosted Mahrez’s reputation hugely. One of the few recognisable names of that Leicester side alongside Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante, Mahrez will be aware that his value will only remain so high for so long.
At 26 years of age, Mahrez is at the peak of his game and he still has room to develop. Any buying club know that they will be able to buy him with potential to sell him on again in the future and recoup some of the money lost in that initial investment.
Why is £40 million too much to ask for?
Last season was a mediocre one for the Algerian. Only five assists and a disappointing 10 goals in 2016/17 paled into insignificance alongside his displays of Leicester’s victorious 2015/16 campaign.
Whatever the off the field distractions were and, regardless of how the whole side saw their performances dip last season, Craig Shakespeare and co. will be more than aware that, based on last season alone, Mahrez would be worth nowhere near £40 million.
Add in the fact that Mahrez offers virtually no aerial threat, actually being more of a vulnerability at set pieces, and with his lack of work rate often meaning he doesn’t track back to defend, and it’s clear to see why Roma’s opening bid was worth just £20 million.
Is there any chances the Foxes will get the price they want?
It seems possible. Currently, Roma seem to be the only party with a strong interest which will not help their cause. To their favour, Leicester can be confident in the knowledge that the Italian side do have cash to splash after selling Mohamed Salah to Liverpool for over £30 million a few weeks ago.
On the other hand, in sporting director Monchi, Roma possess one of the game’s greatest negotiators. The Spaniard usually prefers to hunt out bargains and may be reluctant to go all out and spend a huge chunk of his budget on one player, even if they are as good as Mahrez.
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