Earlier in November, L’Expression in Algeria suggested Riyad Mahrez, after his failed move away from Leicester City, was more open to a move back to France than he was previously.
Marseille, who, back in 2014 rejected the opportunity to sign the forward, would apparently like to rectify that mistake and sign him in the near future, whether it be January or next summer.
This seemed like a long shot, even if the Ligue 1 side can offer him European football, but it was one worth covering nevertheless, as now a second source, this time from France claim the interest is really there and the transfer is now feasible.
Le Foot state in their November edition the reason why Marseille could potentially pull this off is that Leicester have now softened their demands for the 26-year-old, with €30m apparently enough to secure his services.
Making things easier, €25m of that €30m would need to be paid up front, with the rest to be handed over in two instalments, with two or three potential bonuses (including the Ligue 1 side qualifying for the Champions League within two years) taking the figure up to €40m.
Considering Marseille are currently 4th in the French league, just one point behind third placed Lyon and four behind Monaco in second, the bonuses aren’t that unrealistic.
The problem is, and it’s one we’ve already vocalised quite strongly, is that this transfer rests on Hatem Ben Arfa moving to Leicester from Paris Saint-Germain, which isn’t going to happen in January.
In fact, we’re not sold on that idea at all, even if Claude Puel loves the former Nice star.
This is certainly one to keep an eye on over the coming months, as Mahrez is more than likely to still want his move away next summer, and if Marseille do end up qualifying for the elite European competition in his absence, well, it would be an extra incentive for him to join.
We’ll have to wait and see.