Ranieri: Mahrez might be on bench at Arsenal

Date published: Sunday 24th July 2016 9:22

Riyad Mahrez

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has once again denied that PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez will leave the club after reports in France of a £42m transfer.

The Italian also suggested that Mahrez might not play for Arsenal – or another big club – because he will not be the ‘fantasy’ star of the side.

“It is good because you can continue to write, write, write,” said Ranieri after Mahrez played and scored in a 1-1 draw with Celtic that ended in a shoot-out victory for the Foxes.

“It is good for you but not for us. Did you see Riyad, how he is happy? He played well and worked so hard for the team and scored a good goal. Then he stays with us. Of course.

“For us it is very important because he is one of our stars. He is our fantasy. We can work hard but with him something change.

“With another team there are many more stars and maybe he doesn’t play at the same level. Maybe he go on the bench. It is much better he stay here with me and another year is important for him.

“Maybe now this price and maybe tomorrow another newspaper says £100m. Keep going! Mahrez is okay with us. He understands that’s someone loves to put some speculation but it is only speculation.”

Ranieri noted that his side lost too many tackles but denied it was as a consequence of losing Frenchman N’Golo Kante to Chelsea this summer.

He said: “No. Look, last season we lost Esteban Cambiasso and everyone was crying ‘oh Cambiasso, Cambiasso’, now we are crying because we lost Kante.

“Don’t worry. Football in Leicester will keep going.”

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