Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he was watching Riyad Mahrez as a potential summer signing during an interview just before Leicester City’s friendly against Paris Saint-Germain. The French manager was watching the Premier League champions take on the Ligue 1 winners in Los Angeles, which the English team lost 4-0.
Watch the video here to see what the Arsenal manager has to say.
The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for Mahrez, who scored 17 goals and provided 11 assists to guide the Foxes to the historical league title last season and according to Mirror, the north Londoners are planning a bid of around £35m. The Algerian playmaker has been offered a new deal by Leicester with Claudio Ranieri urging his star midfielder to reject any interest from the top clubs and commit his future to the champions.
However, Wenger was reluctant to deny a possible bid for Mahrez, saying that he doesn’t like to publicise his transfer dealings. The Frenchman although admitted that one of the reasons for watching the game at the Stubhub Centre was because Arsenal travel to the King Power Stadium on 20 August which will be their second game of the upcoming Premier League season.
“Yes, of course, we watch all the players, you know. But we play Leicester in the second game of the championship so of course, it’s a good opportunity for us tonight to see them,” Wenger told in an interview with bein sports in LA.
“I cannot give you a yes or no because we do not publicise our transfer interest. The best way to make things happen is to keep it as secret as possible,” he added.
Arsenal are at present on their pre-season tour of the United States and concluded their playing commitments with a 3-1 victory against Chivas de Guadalajara on Sunday. They had previously beaten the MLS All-Stars and will now travel to Norway to face Viking FC, before heading to Sweden for their final pre-season game against Manchester City at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg.