Football: Riyad Mahrez agrees not to leave Leicester in current transfer window

Leicester star Riyad Mahrez has agreed to stay at champions Leicester this summer.
Leicester star Riyad Mahrez has agreed to stay at champions Leicester this summer. PHOTO: REUTERS

London (Guardian) Riyad Mahrez has accepted he will not be allowed to leave Leicester this month after talks between his representatives and the Premier League champions' director of football on Wednesday.

Last season's PFA Player of the Year expressed his desire to move last month after turning down a new contract worth around £80,000 (S$158,000) a week . Yet Leicester's owners, having sold N'Golo Kante to Chelsea and persuaded Jamie Vardy to reject a transfer to Arsenal, were adamant Mahrez would not be allowed to depart despite interest from several clubs in the Premier League and overseas.

The director of football, Jon Rudkin, met the Algerian international's agent on Wednesday to underline that point, with Leicester not willing to entertain any bids for Mahrez so close to the start of the season with little time left to find a replacement.

Negotiations over a new contract will continue, however, with any agreement potentially resting on whether the 25-year-old would be allowed to leave if a suitable bid is received in future.

Reports in France on Wednesday claimed that Arsenal offered £35m for a player purchased from Le Havre in 2014 for £375,000, although that was denied by both clubs. Mahrez has also been linked with Chelsea and Barcelona in the past but Leicester have previously indicated it would take a bid well in excess of £50m to persuade them to sell.

Leicester have submitted a £23.2m bid for the Santos forward Gabriel Barbosa - known as Gabigol- who is playing for Brazil at the Rio Olympics . The 19-year-old's future is likely to be decided after the Games.