Even if they are denying they’ve received an official offer for Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City and Craig Shakespeare are still bracing themselves for the departure of the Algerian winger.
Whether it is to Roma, who appear to be the most persistent suitor at this moment in time, or Arsenal, said to be the player’s favoured destination, the forward looks set to leave the King Power Stadium this summer.
For that to happen, however, a club will need to meet Leicester’s valuation of the player, which, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, has already dropped €5m.
The Italian newspaper state on Tuesday the Premier League side have already agreed to lower their demands from €40m to €35m, probably after no one seemed all that interested in paying the higher fee.
Furthermore, Mahrez is said to have already said yes to the Italian club’s contract offer, meaning all that’s left is for them to find €35m.
In Roma’s case, who don’t have the financial power of any English rivals, that is still quite an expenditure, and there’s still hope they can negotiate a lower fee if possible, with a second bid said to be on its way of €26m + bonuses.
There are some contradictions here, with Leicester saying they haven’t received an offer while Gazzetta say the Italian side have already had one rejected, but what the Foxes state publicly doesn’t necessarily have to be the truth.
Unless Arsenal turn around and slap €35m on the table, the path appears to be clear for Monchi.
He just needs to find some spare change down the back of the couch.