Belfast Telegraph

Mahrez going nowhere, insists Ranieri

By Mark Ogden

Claudio Ranieri has dashed Arsene Wenger's hopes of luring Riyad Mahrez to Arsenal by insisting that the Leicester City winger will not be sold by the Premier League champions.

Mahrez, last season's PFA Player of the Year, remains a prime target for Arsenal, who failed in an attempt to sign Foxes team-mate Jamie Vardy earlier this summer.

Leicester failed to persuade N'Golo Kante to remain at the King Power Stadium following the club's title triumph, with the midfielder moving to Chelsea.

But with Leicester preparing to meet FA Cup winners Manchester United in the Community Shield at Wembley tomorrow, Ranieri insists that he and the club's Thai owners have made it clear that no more stars will be leaving the club this summer.

"The chairman told me that we want to keep everybody," Ranieri said. "Kante had a clause and wanted to go, but the others will stay. It is not a distraction. I am used to these things.

"But it is important that my players believe in the new moment. It is normal others want Riyad, but we must focus on the job. I speak with him a lot and I hope I can help him."

With Mahrez contracted for a further three years, Ranieri says there is no reason to offer him a new deal to fend off interest.

"He has a contract for another three years," Ranieri said. "Why does he have to sign? He has money and everything."

Belfast Telegraph


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