Riyad Mahrez has confirmed that Arsenal did try and sign him from Leicester during the summer but the champions refused to sanction a deal.
The Gunners, who had already failed with an earlier attempt to lure Jamie Vardy to the Emirates, are believed to have lodged a bid in the region of £40 million as they looked to bolster their attacking options. The funds were later redirected to the acquisition of Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi.
Reflecting on the approach made by Arsenal, Mahrez told Canal Football Club:
“There was contact with Arsenal. But Leicester wanted to keep me and I was pretty expensive.
“I did not want to create a conflict when the offer came in.”
Mahrez has since signed a new deal at the King Power stadium but has struggled to match the consistency that saw him win the PFA Player of the Year last season. He’s staying positive about the challenge ahead though.
“Personally, I think it is a good thing I stayed put,” Mahrez added. “It’s now up to me to prove myself again.”