AS Roma are starting to play hardball with Leicester City over Riyad Mahrez, or at least trying to. With Leicester not being desperate for a sale, and Roma having Mahrez as first choice, the Italian side getting tough may not be the best course of action.

Saturday’s edition of Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Roma’s latest offer is worth more than €35m including bonuses, but it’s the nature of those bonuses which will be crucial for Leicester.

Roma’s new sporting director Monchi built his reputation at Sevilla, as the Spanish club continually paid under the odds for transfers, and worked the loan market to their advantage.

That wasn’t all down to pure genius. Under Monchi, and it seems to be continuing after him, Sevilla tried every trick in the book to get transfer fees down.

Clauses in contracts would be danced around and anything that could be negotiated down, even if it had already been agreed, would be. The last thing Leicester want is to sell Mahrez for €20-25m and then face years of battles trying to extract the extra from Roma.

Pressure from the Serie A club should be handled in that context, if Roma walk away… it’s their problem.

There’s every chance Leicester City are holding out for Arsenal to give up on other options and swoop for Mahrez.

That would likely give the Foxes a better, and more secure, transfer fee and also be preferable to the player, so perhaps Mahrez isn’t pushing for Roma quite as much as the Italian press believe.

Gazzetta seem impressed that Roma signing Mahrez, for a deal worth a headline €35m+, would be the club’s biggest investment, but, again, that means nothing to Leicester City.