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Arsene Wenger’s plans of strengthening his squad with the acquisition of long term target Rihad Mahrez has come under very serious threat with reports indicating that new Leicester boss Cluade Puel is determined to hold on to the tricky winger.
Since enjoying his remarkable year in which he won the Premier League with the Foxes, the Algerian international has been continuously linked with a move to the Emirates with Wenger reported to be monitoring the player’s situation.
Following the loss of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain last window coupled with the expected departure of Alexis Sanchez in one of the next two windows, Wenger is understood to be monitoring a few top options in the wide areas capable of making an immediate impact next season.
Since winning the league title last year, the Foxes as expected have struggled to keep hold of their top players. Ngolo Kante made his move away last year while Danny Drinkwater joined him at Chelsea earlier this year, it was widely presumed that Mahrez could very well be granted his move next year but new boss Puel has now openly admitted he is determined to hold on to the star.
Despite Arsenal yet to make an official offer for the winger over the years, links persist about the Gunners interest in Mahrez. Le Jour D’Algerie in their sport round-up via Daily Cannon carried quotes from Puel , who, rather understandably, wants to keep the Arsenal target at the club.
“It’s up to me to convince these players to stay with good football,” he said. “I must attract them. It remains to be seen if this operation is likely to succeed.”
Despite the second managerial change at the club this year, the 26-year-old has quietly gone about his business and has a goal and four assists to his name thus far this season.