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Riyad Mahrez linked with Leicester City exit – which club should he join?

Jake Jackman

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Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez could be leaving Leicester City to sign for a new club, after Algeria confirmed they had released the winger to sign for a new club on Twitter. The 26-year-old handed in a transfer request at the beginning of the summer, but it was turned down by the Foxes. To his credit, he has applied himself well during the opening few weeks of the season, unlike several other high-profile players and he is now set for a move away.

Who is interested?

L’Equipe report that the winger will wait in Paris for his situation to settle as several clubs are interested in signing him on the final day of the transfer window. Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham are all linked in the report. All three teams are in the market for attacking reinforcements and could be willing to pay the asking price for Mahrez.

BBC Sport suggest that Manchester United are another team in the running to sign the Algerian international. There are also likely to be one or two other teams across Europe following developments.

Which club should he join?

After his incredible 2015/16 season, Mahrez will believe he should be playing at the highest level. He won the PFA player of the year during that campaign and likely regrets not seeking a move last summer when his stock was highest. However, he remains an attractive option for Champions League clubs and it looks like he will have options on deadline day.

Barcelona would be an interesting option to go abroad and test himself in a different league. La Liga would suit his style and there would be opportunities for first-team football, due to the inexperience of Ousmane Dembele. However, he would probably prefer to stay in England and join one of the top-six clubs.

From the three clubs mentioned, a move to Chelsea would appeal most. They are desperate for reinforcements and look light on the ground when it comes to squad depth. There would be a lot of opportunities for first-team football and the system would play to Mahrez’s strengths. They give more freedom to the three attacking players and the demands for him to work back would be less than at other clubs.

Tottenham could come into play, as they are another team that will be active on the final day of the transfer window, but it would be harder for Mahrez to break into their first-team. They already have Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela at the club.

Mahrez will be delighted that he is finally going to get his move. Based on the reports, Chelsea or Barcelona would be the best fits for him, but it remains to be seen which clubs can reach an agreement with Leicester City first.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Bristol City

Sam McQueen linked but losing Joe Bryan would hurt Bristol City

The Englishman has been at Ashton Gate since 15 years of age.

Josh Kerr

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Joey Bryan
Photo: Getty Images

According to the Bristol Post, Bristol City are being linked with Southampton‘s Sam McQueen as the club’s replacement for full-back Joe Bryan, meaning the South-West club could be preparing for life without the 24-year-old, who has made over 229 appearances for the club.

The Robins ultimately look set to lose Bryan during the summer transfer window with Burnley, Everton and Aston Villa all keen on signing the left-back. With only a year left on his contract at Ashton Gate, the club could be tempted to cash-in for the home grown defender, for a fee of around £6 million.

Despite McQueen being a sensible replacement for City, his arrival wouldn’t quite soften the blow of losing Bryan, who has quickly established himself as one of the best all-round defenders in the EFL Championship.

The full-back has been with the side since he was 15 years of age and has gone on to become one of their most important players. Many will remember the 24-year-old’s wonder strike to help beat Premier League giants Manchester United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final, after a display that saw him named man-of-the-match.

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Losing a player of his calibre will not help the club’s attempts to challenge for the play-offs next season. Considering the club were in contention for a top two place as recently as Christmas, it is difficult to comprehend the board selling one of their best players.

The Robins sat second in the Championship during the festive period but went on to finish a disappointing 11th after only picking up 20 points from their final 22 games.

Lee Johnson reportedly sees McQueen, who was told he can quite St Mary’s this summer, as the most likely replacement for Bryan this summer, if the right offer comes in for the latter’s services.

The Saints defender played 22 times in the 2017/18 season, mostly from the bench, but is a player who could definitely prove his worth.

At 23, he still has years to improve and with a full Championship season under his belt, he could emerge a shrewd replacement for long-term servant Bryan.

However, the news won’t float well with City fans who would prefer to keep their homegrown player, rather than attempt to replace him.

Nonetheless, with a year left on his contract, cashing in on the £6 million talent, while bringing in Sam McQueen, could prove a smart piece of business from the Robins.

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West Bromwich Albion

West Brom’s Nacer Chadli very fortunate to make Belgium World Cup squad

The Belgian’s inclusion in Roberto Martinez’s World Cup side came as a surprise to many.

Josh Kerr

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Nacer Chadli
Photo: Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion attacking midfielder Nacer Chadli has been named in Roberto Martinez’s preliminary World Cup squad, much to the amazement of all Baggies fans.

The 28-year-old has rarely featured for Albion during their disastrous relegation season, with injury limiting him to just six appearances in all competitions for the club.

The Belgium international has even been included over Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, who today also his international retirement after receiving the disappointing news.

Chadli is arguably the most fortunate player to be in Martinez’s World Cup squad, considering he only featured four times in the league for a team that was relegated in the most disastrous fashion.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The former Tottenham player has a relegation release clause of £17 million, so there’s a chance for him to sign for another club if he is able to show the quality that former Premier League manager Martinez has evidently seen in him.

Other notable names also in the Red Devils’ squad to take to Russia include Manchester City‘s Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, Chelsea‘s Eden Hazrd and Thibaut Courtois, and Liverpool‘s Simon Mignolet.

Many football supporters have taken to Twitter to highlight their disbelief to Chadli representing the Midlands side for Belgium in this summer’s World Cup in Russia. His inclusion sees him as one of just two current Baggies to represent the side in the summer tournament, along with Egyptian centre-back Ahmed Hegazi.

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Everton

A Marco Silva reunion at Everton is exactly what goal-shy Richarlison needs

The Brazilian has struggled for form since Everton-linked Marco Silva left the Hornets.

Max Cohen

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Photo: Getty Images

Marco Silva has been heavily linked with the vacant Everton managerial job this week and, according to reports in the Daily Mail, the ex-Watford boss is set to hold further talks with the club in the coming days.

As a result of the Silva connections, Paddy Power’s odds suggest Everton are now the front runners to sign Watford winger Richarlison this summer.

The move could prove to be an ingenious way to revive Richarlison’s early-season brilliance under the manager who coaxed the best out of the mercurial Brazilian.

Both Richarlison and Silva enjoyed superb form when the two were together in the opening months of the 2017/18 campaign, and a reunion at Goodison Park would result in success.

The Portuguese manager steered the Hornets to an impressive start to the season that saw the club suffer just one defeat in their first eight league matches.

The Brazilian winger also hit the ground running at Vicarage Road, notching five goals and contributing three assists in his opening 12 Premier League matches.

However, the tide turned in the final months of 2017, as Richarlison scored his last league goal in November, and Silva won just one of his last 11 league matches before being sacked in January.

Richarlison clearly thrived under the management of Silva, and after the Portuguese departed the club, the winger scored and assisted a grand total of zero goals. But at only 21 years of age, the youngster has time on his side and is still adapting to English football.

Everton would do well to reconnect Marco Silva with Richarlison, and if the manager can get the best out of the Brazilian, the Toffees would attain the services of a top-class attacking talent who has many productive years in front of him.

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