Mahrez: Arsenal wanted me, but I didn't want to 'create a conflict'

Mahrez: Arsenal wanted me, but I didn't want to 'create a conflict'

The Score - EPL Soccer

Riyad Mahrez has confirmed Arsenal's summer interest in signing him, but says he eventually penned a fresh four-year deal with Leicester City to avoid conflict with his employer.

Last season's PFA Player of the Year, 25, was instrumental on the left flank for the Foxes over 2015-16, habitually shaming right-backs' fruitless attempts to stifle his slaloming runs and showing an ability of nicking a couple of yards to fire shots on net with great regularity. He was directly involved in 28 goals over the course of the campaign, and was pivotal in Leicester's fairy tale title win.

Unsurprisingly, the Algerian was subject to interest from a host of Europe's leading clubs, and Arsene Wenger was heading the front of that queue.

"There was contact with Arsenal," Mahrez told Canal Football Club, with translation from the Guardian. "But Leicester wanted to keep me and I was pretty expensive. I did not want to create a conflict when the offer came in.

"Personally, I think it is a good thing I stayed put. It's now up to me to prove myself again."

Mahrez is yet to hit the levels of yesteryear on the domestic stage, scoring just one tally in seven outings, but has helped in Leicester's seamless start to its maiden Champions League term with two goals in two appearances - perhaps adding another chapter to the great Foxes narrative.

The winger featured in Algeria's 1-1 World Cup qualification draw with Cameroon on Sunday, and is expected to retain his spot in the lineup at club level when Claudio Ranieri's side visits Chelsea on Saturday.

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