herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Mahrez: I'd only leave Foxes for two or three top clubs'

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez has admitted only "two or three clubs" could tempt him away from Leicester but refused to rule out leaving.

The reigning PFA Player of the Year has been continually linked with a move from the King Power Stadium this summer after helping inspire them to last season's Premier League title.

Arsenal, who travel to Leicester on Saturday, and Barcelona have been credited with an interest although the Foxes are unwilling to sell the 25-year-old.

Winger Mahrez is keen to stay in England but admitted it would be hard to reject a move if he felt it was right.

"It is a super league and I would like to stay here as long as possible," he said.

"Now, there are two or three clubs in the world, that if they come for me, it definitely makes you think, if you understand what I am trying to say.

"It (the Premier League) is the best league in the world, the most exciting, where there is the most at stake. There is also constantly a little uncertainty. Last year, we won the league. In Spain, you will never see Levante or Granada finishing top. In France, since the new PSG, it is the same.

"Same in Germany, with Bayern and Dortmund, or in Italy with Juventus. In the Premier League there is a greater depth of teams who can do it with City, Arsenal, United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool. They can all win it."

Mahrez scored in Leicester's 2-1 opening day defeat at Hull on Saturday and has thrived under Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri, scoring 17 times as Leicester won a shock title by 10 points.

The Algeria international praised Ranieri for his influence and believes he has turned him into a better player.

"He immediately took me under his wing and gave me a lot of confidence," he said. "And he has brought me to be more rigorous with my game. The result of that: last year, I defended like a crazy person.

"He made me understand that if one of us did not defend, we were dead. With him, I also timed better the moments where one needs to press, when one needs to peel off, things like that."

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