Chelsea are set to make a second raid on Leicester for PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez, according to a report.
Mahrez has been linked with Arsenal, Man City and Barcelona this summer after helping Leicester to win the Premier League and the Daily Express claim, in an exclusive, that Antonio Conte will firm up his interest in the player and is preparing a bid.
The Algeria attacking midfielder, who scored 17 goals in 37 Premier League games last season, is believed to have subbed a new £80,000-a-week contract at Leicester over the weekend and Chelsea want him to follow N’Golo Kante to Stamford Bridge.
Mahrez has three years left on his £35,000-a-week contract with the Foxes and the champions will demand a fee in excess of £30million for the player they signed from Le Harve for £350,000 in 2014.
The 25-year-old’s representatives are convinced their client is deserving of a weekly wage of around £120,000 elsewhere, although Barcelona are reportedly out of the running for Mahrez. The Daily Mirror report that Barca have no interest in signing Mahrez – which would apparently leave the way clear for a move to another Premier League club with Chelsea heading the queue.
New Chelsea boss Conte finalised the £32million transfer of Kante yesterday, who moves to Stamford Bridge on a five-year deal worth £150,000 a week.
“I am very confident with him. He stays here with us,” said Ranieri.
“He enjoys it and is not a man saying ‘coach I want to go’. He is happy.”