Claudio Ranieri has dealt a blow to Arsenal in the hunt for Riyad Mahrez, with the Leicester boss claiming he will ‘stay with’ the reigning Premier League champions.
Mahrez has emerged as a target for the Gunners following his excellent season as a key part of the Foxes’ title success, during which he scored 17 goals and registered 10 assists.
Arsene Wenger wants to bring him to the Emirates Stadium in an attempt to build a title winning side, but Ranieri has continued to insist that Mahrez is not on his way to North London.
And following Leicester’s penalty victory over Celtic in pre-season, in which Mahrez, scored an excellent goal, the Italian repeated his view: “Did you see how Riyad is happy? He played so well, worked so hard for the team, he scored a goal and he stays with us.
“It is very important (to keep him) he is one of our stars.
“Other teams maybe have more stars and maybe he doesn’t play at the same level, because maybe is on the bench so it is much better he stays with me.”
Asked if Mahrez was worth more than £40million, the Italian said: “Maybe tomorrow some newspapers say £100million, that is good – keep going. It is only speculation.”