Barcelona believe the prospect of signing Riyad Mahrez to bolster Luis Enrique's squad is "interesting" but the chances of prising him away from Leicester City this summer are "almost impossible", according to Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish publication claims the Foxes are determined to hold on to the Algerian international for another season at the King Power Stadium and, since he has no escape clause in his contract, the only way to secure his services would be if the player himself handed in a transfer request.
The Mirror and the Sun have reported in recent weeks that Barcelona have earmarked the signing of Mahrez as their top priority in the summer, with the former suggesting that the Catalans valuing the Leicester sensation at between £20m ($28.4m) and £25m.
Enrique has already admitted to wanting to bolster his attacking options with a versatile forward such as the potential Premier League Player of the Year to back up the formidable Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Mundo Deportivo reporter Miguel Rico, one of the most reliable Spanish journalists on Barcelona issues, confirmed that club officials have been attracted by Mahrez's impressive campaign in the Premier League but look resigned to missing out on his signature.
Firstly, because the Foxes want to keep him at least more season at the King Power Stadium to lead them in the Champions League. Secondly, should Leicester allow the player to leave it could generate a big money auction which may put Barcelona off especially since Premier League suitors would be able to take advantage of increased spending brought about by the new Premier League television right deals. The Sun has already reported that Manchester United and Arsenal are interested in his services.
Mundo Deportivo claims that "in football nothing is impossible" and Mahrez's desire to move to the Camp Nou can help the La Liga giants secure his services. The report also points out that the striker could even submit a transfer request to facilitate such a move.
The 25-year-old winger was recently pictured wearing a Barcelona shirt for an interview with MOTD Magazine and admitted his childhood dream was to play at the Camp Nou. However he was quick to add that he wanted to do it in the Champions League with Leicester next season.
"I used to dream of playing in the Nou Camp when I was younger, so it'd be amazing, if we finish in the top four and play there [at Barcelona] in the Champions League next season," he said.