Gossip: Mahrez, Mustafi, Benteke and more

Matt Stead

You thought Riyad Mahrez was staying at Leicester didn’t you? Considering all the stories that broke on Thursday claiming the Player of the Year had agreed to remain at the King Power Stadium this summer, you would be forgiven for, y’know, thinking that he would stay at the King Power Stadium this summer.

Well, you were wrong, you fools. According to The Sun, Arsenal have made a second offer for Riyad Mahrez. They report that it is ‘improved’, which seems remarkably obvious. It’d be ballsy otherwise.

The claim comes from French newspaper L’Equipe, who add that the offer is of around £35million. The offer of £30m was ‘instantly rejected’. That extra £5m will surely persuade Leicester to part with their best player.

The Sun do add the Guardian’s claim on Thursday that Mahrez had agreed to stay. But they also claim that £50m would be enough to sign him. Well alright then.


Let’s have some more Arsenal while we’re here, shall we? According to David Hytner of The Guardian, they remain in talks over Shkodran Mustafi.

‘There was no sign of an imminent breakthrough on Thursday night,’ writes Hytner, who then discusses the confusion surrounding the deal due to comments attributed to agent Ali Bulut. Both clubs claim that Bulut is not even his agent. Weird.

Because I’m lazy, here you go:

‘There is a quiet confidence at Arsenal that they will be able to get the deal for Mustafi over the line but it will not be in time for their Premier League season-opener at home to Liverpool on Sunday, in which Arsène Wenger faces a selection dilemma in central defence.

‘Valencia appear to be in a strong negotiating position. The Spanish club know Arsenal’s need is great; that they have a vast amount of money in the bank and that time is against them. Valencia have made it plain that they value Mustafi at upwards of £25m and it is clear he is a fundamental part of their team – one that they are loath to sell.’

It’s only fair to link to The Guardian’s story, because we’re sick guys.


Christian Benteke is a tall man. He is also a strong man. He is also a striker, one who excels in a system whereby he is the sole forward leading the line. It therefore comes as no surprise that Tony Pulis want him.

Everyone is reporting that West Brom have joined the race to sign the Belgian. It is a race which definitely involves Crystal Palace, but beyond that we are not sure. Everton have been linked, as have European sides such as Juventus. Palace has been the enduring rumour, but West Brom? Sure.

The claim is that they would have to break their club transfer record to sign him. Considering their record signing is Salomon Rondon, signed for £12m, that is hardly shocking news. Liverpool want to recoup most of their initial £32.5million outlay.


Bastian Schweinsteiger has insisted he is still happy in Manchester despite being banished by Jose Mourinho…Juventus target Nemanja Matic is set to stay at Chelsea this season following talks with Blues boss Antonio Conte…Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wants to raid former club Barcelona for goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen which spells danger for Joe Hart…West Brom have tabled an improved £11m offer for Leicester City star Jeffrey Schlupp…Sunderland, Southampton and Swansea are all interested in taking Manchester City defender Jason Denayer on loan for the season, while Bournemouth have asked about a permanent deal for the Belgian…Manchester City will allow Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri to leave the club this summer…Newcastle have made inquiries over Anderlecht’s Idrissa Sylla as the look to sign another striker before the transfer window shuts…Tottenham have put a £20m price tag on Nacer ChadlI, who is wanted by Swansea and Borussia Dortmund…Aston Villa are closing in on a triple transfer swoop for West Brom’s James Chester, Leicester full-back Ritchie De Laet and Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak.