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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers: Wanted man Riyad Mahrez has no need to join Arsenal

By Samuel Stevens

Published 25/07/2016

Running the show: Riyad Mahrez shone in the friendly win over Celtic
Running the show: Riyad Mahrez shone in the friendly win over Celtic

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has backed Riyad Mahrez to reject Arsenal after witnessing the Algerian's talents first-hand during a friendly defeat on penalties to Leicester City on Saturday.

Mahrez scored a sumptuous strike to give Leicester the lead just after half-time in the International Champions Cup clash at Celtic Park before Eoghan O'Connell's 58th-minute equaliser took the tie to penalties.

Daniel Amartey scored the decisive spot-kick for the English champions following James Forrest's earlier miss, from the hosts' sixth penalty, but reports linking Mahrez with a £40m switch to the Emirates overshadowed proceedings in Glasgow.

"He looks happy," Ulsterman Rodgers said at full-time. "If he is playing well and working well, I wouldn't say there is a need for him to move."

The former Liverpool manager also confirmed defender Kolo Toure's arrival at Celtic after being let go by the Anfield club but he will not feature in the Champions League qualifier against Kazakhstani outfit Astana on Wednesday.

Rodgers said: "I brought him into Liverpool to add that bit of experience and help to the centre-halves and I think you've seen that from his impact there.

"In particular last season, he was a very important player for Jurgen (Klopp) towards the end of the season and played in the Europa League final. He was outstanding in the big games when I was there."

Asked if a new player could be signed in time for the trip to Astana, Rodgers added: "We need to wait and see.

"We have some work going on behind the scenes, hopefully we can get some business done. It is going to be tight, it is Saturday evening and we leave on Monday afternoon."

Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri, meanwhile, reiterated his insistence that Mahrez would not be sold whatever the price after losing midfielder N'Golo Kante to Premier League rivals Chelsea for £30m a week ago - despite speculation in France that Mahrez had been "seduced" by Arsenal, who are reported to be closing in on a £41.8m deal for the 25-year-old.

Leicester City celebrate their league win.
Leicester City celebrate their league win.
Singer Andrea Bocelli waves to supporters on the pitch along with Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri (C) holds up the Premier league trophy after winning the league and the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri (C) holds up the Premier league trophy after winning the league and the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri (C) and Leicester City's English defender Wes Morgan hold up the Premier league trophy after winning the league and the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City lifts the Premier League Trophy as players celebrate the season champions after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Captain Wes Morgan, owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, his son Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and players celebrate the season champions with the Premier League Trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Captain Wes Morgan of Leicester City lifts the Premier League Trophy as players and staffs celebrate the season champions after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri of Leicester City lift the Premier League Trophy as players and staffs celebrate the season champions after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri of Leicester City lift the Premier League Trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Leicester City fans hold up a foam trophy outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
A Leicester City fan holds a banner that reads 'A trophy earned not bought' outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
The giant mural of Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri, created by artist Richard Wilson is pictured in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTIONGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City fans celebrate outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
Leicester City fans celebrate outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
A Leicester City FC fan celebrates a goal during a live screening of the Leicester vs Everton match at King Power headquarters in Bangkok on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHALILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City fans celebrate with an Italy flag outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
Leicester City fans celebrate with an Italian banner outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Jamie Vardy (3rd L) of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)***BESTPIX***
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: A general view during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
A Leicester City fan holds up a banner outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
World snooker champion Mark Selby with his trophy and Leicester City mascot Filbert Fox during the Barclays Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Marc Albrighton of Leicester City reacts after missing a chance during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Andy King of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester City supporters hold banners to honour Shinji Okazaki during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Leicester City's Welsh midfielder Andy King (R) celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez (C) holds up the Premier league trophy after winning the league and the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (2L) jokes with Leicester City's English defender Wes Morgan (C) as Leicester players celebrate with Leicester City's Thai chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (C-R) with the Premier league trophy after winning the league and the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri (C) and Leicester City's English defender Wes Morgan hold up the Premier league trophy after winning the league and the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
A Leicester City FC fan celebrates during a live screening of the Leicester vs Everton match at King Power headquarters in Bangkok on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHALILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel lifts the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Barclays Premier League, after the match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Leicester City captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri lift the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Barclays Premier League, after the match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Leicester City players celebrate winning the Barclays Premier League, after the match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Leicester City captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri lift the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Barclays Premier League, after the match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Leicester City's Daniel Drinkwater lifts the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Barclays Premier League, after the match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Leicester City captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri lift the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Barclays Premier League, after the match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri (C) and Leicester City's English defender Wes Morgan hold up the Premier league trophy after winning the league and the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester City players and staffs celebrate the season champions with the Premier League Trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Danny Drinkwater of Leicester City lifts the Premier League Trophy as players and staffs celebrate the season champions after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri of Leicester City lift the Premier League Trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester City players and staffs celebrate the season champions with the Premier League Trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri (L) and Leicester City's English defender Wes Morgan hold up the Premier league trophy after winning the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City lifts the Premier League Trophy as players and staffs celebrate the season champions after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Captain Wes Morgan of Leicester City lifts the Premier League Trophy as players and staffs celebrate the season champions after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: A Leicester City supporter holds a shirt printed 'Champions 16' during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Andy King of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester City supporters hold banners to honour Shinji Okazaki during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy (R) celebrates with Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez (C) after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester City supporters cheer during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy (R) celebrates with Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez (L) after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City fans in the stands during the Barclays Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: A Leicester City cheerleader is seen prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester City supporters enjoy the atmosphere prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Singer Andrea Bocelli performs while Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City stand next to him prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Singer Andrea Bocelli performs while Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City stand next to him prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Singer Andrea Bocelli waves to supporters on the pitch along with Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester City supporters hold a big Champions banner prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Leicester City supporters arrive at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City supporters arrive at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester City supporters enjoy the atmosphere prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
A Leicester fan sits before the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
A Leicester City supporter, with a dyed moustache arrives at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
BATH, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Bath supporters celebrate victory during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath and Leicester Tigers at the Recreation Ground on May 7, 2016 in Bath, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: David Neilson, actor of the British soap opera Coronation Street, takes part in Alan Birchenall's annual charity run during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Leicester fans hold up banners before the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City supporters arrive at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
A Leicester fan smiles before the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City supporters arrive at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester fans wave flags in the team colours before the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester fans wave flags in the team colours before the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Young Leicester fans pose with a replica Premier League trophy outside the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Leicester City supporters arrive at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester fans enjoy the atmosphere in the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester fans enjoy the atmosphere in the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
A Leicester City supporter holds up a banner as he arrives at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
A Leicester City supporter holds up a banner as he arrives at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester fans hold a poster displaying the image of former Leicester footballer Gary Lineker in his underwear, in relation to the TV presenter's promise to present Match of the Day in his underwear if Leicester won the Premier League title, in the stands before the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Leicester fans enjoy the atmosphere in the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Everton fan Michael Cullen aka Speedo Mick holds a sign saying 'Get your kit off Gary Lineker, a promise is a promise' before the Barclays Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
A Leicester City fan before the Barclays Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Everton fan Michael Cullen aka Speedo Mick holds a sign saying 'Get your kit off Gary Lineker, a promise is a promise' before the Barclays Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 7, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
A Leicester City supporter wearing a fox mask, arrives at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
A Leicester City supporter shows off his Premier League winners badge on his Leicester City shirt as he arrives at the stadium ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. Leicester City, who were 5,000/1 rank outsiders in pre-season, will receive the Premier League trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
A Leicester fan gives a thumbs up before the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
A gospel choir sings before the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Ranieri said: "It is good because you can continue to write, write, write. It is good for you but not for us. Did you see Riyad, how happy he is? He played well and worked so hard for the team and scored a good goal. He stays with us. Of course.

"For us it is very important because he is one of our stars. He is our fantasy."

Mahrez will join his Leicester team-mates for the trip to Los Angeles where they will face Paris Saint-Germain this weekend before flying to Stockholm to take on Spanish champions Barcelona the following Wednesday.

Despite Mahrez continuing to put himself in the shop window with displays such as the one at Celtic, Ranieri is relaxed about his chances of keeping hold of the PFA Player of the Year.

"With another team there are many more stars and maybe he doesn't play at the same level. Maybe he goes on the bench. It is much better that he stays here with me and another year is important for him," added the Italian.

"Maybe now (his value is £40m) and maybe tomorrow another newspaper says £100m. Keep going! Mahrez is okay with us. He understands that someone loves to create some speculation but it is only speculation."

Belfast Telegraph

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