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