Ranieri wants Mahrez to stay

Claudio Ranieri says Riyad Mahrez risks ending up on the bench if he decides to leave Leicester for Arsenal this summer.

Arsenal: Ranieri wants Mahrez to stayArsenal: Ranieri wants Mahrez to stay

Reports in France claimed the Algeria winger had agreed to leave the Foxes and join the Gunners ahead of the new season, but such rumours appear to be premature.

Leicester and England forward Jamie Vardy turned down the chance to join Arsenal in June, deciding to sign a new four-year deal at the King Power Stadium instead, and Ranieri is urging Mahrez to do the same.

Mahrez scored a stunning goal in Leicester’s 1-1 International Champions Cup draw with Celtic at Celtic Park on Saturday evening, and Ranieri wants him to follow Vardy’s lead by staying at the club as he plots their title defence.

“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,” Ranieri said. “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.”

When asked if he was confident Mahrez would stay at Leicester, Ranieri told Sky Sports: “I am always confident. Of course, we know that there are other teams that want to win the Premier League, we our just to defend.”

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