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Wenger on Riyad Mahrez bid: “Not yet”


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Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger has long been a fan of Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. There was a lot of will-he-won’t-he last summer, to the point where it was reported that Mahrez had actually agreed to move to London, before the player had a change of heart and decided to stay in Leicester.

Now, after Leicester’s title defense didn’t, to be charitable, go as planned, he’s decided that he wants to leave after all. Which, naturally, set the batphone in Wenger’s office a-ringin’. When he was asked today about Mahrez and the possibility of signing him, Le Boss was fairly coy:

“Have we made a bid for him? No. Not yet. No, we have not. When I say ‘not yet’ it means it could happen. It might not happen.”

Straight answers? Not for Arsene Wenger, no sir. I like the “No. Not yet” part as well. Does that mean Arsenal will or won’t make a bid? I think, given the history here and the fact that Arsenal feel the need to Do More Stuff this summer, it’s probably likely a bid is forthcoming; the £50 million quoted is a lot, but that’s how the market goes these days, so it’s not, like, ludicrously expensive.

While there’s a lot of ground to cover between here and him obligingly holding an Arsenal scarf to the sky like it was a boyhood dream for him to play for the club, it’s definitely a good sign that in the same day, Arsenal are reported to have made or will be making a bid to both the hottest young talent in the game and to a player they coveted last summer and, through no fault of their own, didn’t land.