Riyad Mahrez to Leicester City is becoming increasingly dramatic. AS Roma have for weeks been trying to sign the Algerian, but have so far failed to get close enough to Leicester’s asking price.
Corriere dello Sport report Roma’s latest offer is €35m, but has still been knocked back. Even if that amount was an upfront payment, rather than weighted on bonuses as it probably is, it still falls well short of Leicester’s £40m asking price.
The Italian newspaper say Mahrez’s agent has ‘winked’ at Premier League clubs, with a stay in England potentially welcomed by the Leicester player, but so far he’s had no concrete response.
Chelsea could play a part in the drama, even if not directly. Corriere della Sport say Inter Milan sporting director Walter Sabatini has recently met a Leicester official, for some kind of initial Mahrez talks.
That’s especially interesting because Sabatini was the long standing Roma director of football, before being edged out for Monchi. Sabatini hasn’t had a great relationship with Roma since, and taking Mahrez from their clutches would be some coup.
Corriere della Sport say that could depend on the future of Antonio Candreva, who is of interest to Chelsea. Should Antonio Conte get his man, then the Chelsea money could be used to divert Mahrez to Inter, therefore leaving Roma empty-handed.
It’s a long shot, and probably requires a huge Chelsea offer for Candreva, but it would certainly be entertaining.