Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez has revealed how close he was to signing for Arsenal in the summer of 2016, but the move fell through as Leicester were unwilling to sell. His representatives were in touch with Dick Law while he himself had spoken to Arsene Wenger and found the Gunners best suited for his skills.
He was in vogue again last summer as the Gunners revived their interest in him as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez, but the Chilean stayed at the Emirates as the north London club failed to sign a suitable alternative. He likened his situation to N'Golo Kante who had joined Chelsea after their remarkable title winning campaign where he came on top again with the Blues.
Mahrez has made no secret of his desire to leave Leicester and saw moves to Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea and Roma fall through in the summer as the club's £45m valuation priced out those outfits. The Algerian has not given up hope of making a move out of the King Power stadium, having scored a brilliant goal in midweek that saw them get the better of Tottenham.
"I don't know what happened," he told the Daily Mail. "It's football. You never know what will happen. N'Golo had a clause and when he left they stopped those clauses. They said they would never give one to anyone after that.
"They didn't want to sell me. They said, 'Yes, (there will be) no problem if something comes up.' But behind the scenes they were blocking stuff — talking to clubs but just not wanting to sell me."
However, the setback has not dampened Mahrez's desire to force a move out of the club in the future and revealed that he is looking out for opportunities to reach the top.
"I'm confident, contract or no contract, I believe I will get to the top," he added. "When you have quality, and show it, there's no problem."