Arsene Wenger Reveals Why Arsenal Aren't Pursuing Deal for Wantaway Leicester Star Riyad Mahrez

Friday August 11th, 2017

Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal were never seriously interested in prising Riyad Mahrez away from Leicester City this summer, despite reports, as he has enough similar options already.

The Gunners boss was quoted in the Daily Mirror after he was quizzed about his side's chances of luring the £40m-rated forward to the Emirates stadium.

Mahrez has informed the Foxes of his desire to leave the club after they failed spectacularly to defend their Premier League crown last term, but Wenger insisted that rumours stating that he would acquire the 25-year-old's signature were always wide of the mark.

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He said: "We were never close (to signing Mahrez). I rate him as a player but we have similar types with Alex Iwobi, Jack Wilshere back, Mesut Ozil...We have plenty of the same type of players."

Mahrez was also linked with a potential switch to Serie A with Italian giants Roma, but the Giallorossi baulked at Leicester's £40m asking price and refused to go over their own valuation of £32m.

The Algeria forward has still featured for Craig Shakespeare's side throughout pre-season and is expected to be start of his squad for the club's Premier League opener - ironically against Arsenal - as the 2017/18 campaign kicks off on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, Wenger has also commented on the prospect of adding to his first-team squad before the transfer window shuts in September.

The north London outfit have only added two new signings to their senior ranks in the close season, with Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac jetting in for £52m and on a free transfer from Lyon and Schalke respectively.

Wenger maintains that he would still like to make a couple more new additions, but issued caution to the club's fanbase over doing so as he admitted that players would need to be sold first before he could move for possible targets.

He added: "We are still open, but of course at the moment I have currently 33 players and it is very difficult to manage on a daily basis such a high number."

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