With rumours circling around the future of Alexis Sanchez in recent weeks, according to Le Buteur, Arsene Wenger now sees Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez as an ideal replacement for the Chilean international - if he leaves during the January transfer window.
Also seen as a natural replacement to Philippe Coutinho, the 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year had been linked with a move to Liverpool this week. However, reports emanating from Algeria now suggest that Mahrez is more likely to replace Sanchez at Arsenal, than Coutinho at Liverpool.
The Algerian publication states that a "relative of the player [Mahrez]" has revealed that the rumours surrounding a potential move to Anfield are fabrications:
"I was able to read what some media say about a possible transfer from Riyad to Liverpool, but if you want the truth, we are not at home. current of that. Until proven otherwise, there has been no official contact with this club. Frankly, I'm surprised to hear so much nonsense."
After a disappointing 2016/17 campaign in which the Algerian international scored a measly six goals and assisted a further four, Riyad Mahrez has sprung back to life this season. During the first half of the season, the wide player has been reinvigorated; and with seven goals and eight assists, he has already bettered his goal and assist tally from the whole of last season.
Riyad Mahrez is not the only winger who has been cited as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez in the January transfer window. Both Thomas Lemar and - most recently - Cristian Pavon have been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium. The former, although an exceptional young talent, will reportedly cost over £90m according to the Daily Mirror; while the latter is remains an unknown quantity due to the fact that he has yet to ply his trade in Europe.
Due to his Premier League experience and explicit quality, Mahrez - who will reportedly cost around £48.5m - could be considered the most fitting replacement for Sanchez of the three.