Riyad Mahrez is reportedly ready to ask Leicester to honour their agreement and let him to leave this summer – putting four Premier League giants on standby.
The Algerian was named Player of the Year last season as the Foxes capped the most unlikely of title triumphs, with his form earning him the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Mahrez, however, out of respect for Claudio Ranieri, opted to stay for one more season and help with their Champions League campaign, with the club reportedly giving him a Gentleman’s agreement that a transfer would be sanctioned the following summer.
And the Telegraph report that Mahrez is poised to tell the club that he is ready to quit after three-and-a-half seasons at the King Power, owing to his determination to continue playing European football.
North London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham are thought to be at the front of the queue for Mahrez’s signature, while Liverpool and Chelsea have also been mentioned as suitors, though it’s suggested their interest has since cooled.
That would likely leave both Arsenal and Tottenham to scrap it out over Mahrez.
The Gunners came close to signing both him and his Foxes team-mate Jamie Vardy last summer and it’s believed Arsene Wenger would be back in for Mahrez if he became available.
Tottenham, however, would also be keen. Mauricio Pochettino wants to add more width and flair to his wings and while a deal for Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha remains his top choice, a swoop for the 2016 Player of the Year could prove less complicated.
Tottenham made an enquiry over Mahrez in the January transfer window, but were told at the time that he was not for sale at any price.
However, all that could change in the summer, and the Foxes are still likely to hold out for at least £20million, despite the player’s form being noticeably poorer this season.