Algerian international playmaker Riyad Mahrez was arguably the star of the Premier League last season.
The 25-year-old scored 17 times and produced ten assists. In the process, he helped the Leicester complete a surprise title triumph.
His goals and assists also saw him crowned English Player of the Year to cap a dream year for the 25-year-old.
Inevitably his performances have captured the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Leicester confident Mahrez will stay
Leicester’s title win has raised the profile of the Foxes star players. Two of the other stars of last season Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante took two very different approaches this summer.
Vardy was offered the chance to join Arsenal, but instead, choose to sign a new bumper contract with the champions (that still sounds strange!). Kante, on the other hand, decided to join Chelsea in a £32million deal.
Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has stated that all his players are happy at the club. He was then asked about Mahrez and he said: “Yes, he wants to stay.”
Captain Wes Morgan joined Vardy in signing a new contract, but the question is will Mahrez join the pair in signing a new deal?
Reportedly in major demand
Newspaper reports are hard to believe sometimes. One paper claims that Mahrez is valued at £45million, while another claim that Manchester City could be successful with a £33million bid for the playmaker.
The skilful forward has also been linked with moves to Barcelona and Arsenal. There is a sense that it will be the player that decides his future and not his club.
If Mahrez is happy to stay then everything will be hunky dory. However, if Mahrez fancies a new challenge at a more high-profile club and a bid comes in, then the Foxes will have to consider selling him.
Should that situation occur and he puts in a transfer request, and Leicester rejects it, then they will be left with a key member of their squad who is unhappy. Players who are unhappy are unlikely to give their all for the team. The forward does not come across as the sort of guy who would throw his toys out of the pram.
However, who knows how he will react if he does have a request turned down by the Foxes this summer. The champions obviously do not want to lose another one of their key players from last season.
The only way this speculation will go away this summer is if the Algerian does sign a new improved contract with the Foxes, despite the fact he has three years to run on his current deal. Vardy is likely to be on far more money than Mahrez now following his new deal, so a new deal may help keep the Algerian happy in the Midlands.
Plenty to look forward to at Leicester
It would not be a major surprise if Mahrez did stay with the Foxes this summer. There seems to be a good camaraderie amongst the Leicester players. There is also the prospect of playing in the Champions League next season with the Midlands side.
It seems unlikely that Ranieri’s side will challenge for the title again next season, as they are currently odds of 28/1 to retain their title in the new campaign. The Foxes did not so much as upset the applecart last season, more they stole it and made it cry.
Ranieri’s side’s title odds this season are a far cry from last season’s odds of 5000/1. However, lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place, but the Foxes must still be confident of finishing high up in the table next season.
Riyad Mahrez is a very good player and I hope that he stays at Leicester. The Foxes gave him a chance to shine and he shone brighter than the galaxy of stars in the Premier League last season.
I do believe that Mahrez will stay with Leicester this summer. However, if his form continues in a similar vein to last season, then he may be on the move next summer.
Will Riyad Mahrez stay at Leicester this summer?