Arsenalare planning a double swoop for Riyad Mahrez and Alexandre Lacazette this summer with Arsene Wenger looking to bolster his squad ahead of their Premier League clash against Liverpool on Sunday (14 August). The Gunners are likely to be without five first team players for the opener, with the likes of Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez all taking a break following their international commitments.
The Mirror reports that the Gunners will require a combined sum of £75m ($96m) to land their targets with Mahrez believed to be available for a price in the range of £35m, while Lacazette will cost a further £40m to transfer from Lyon. Mahrez was voted the PFA player of the year last season after 28 goals plus assists for Leicester City in the campaign and was initially targeted by Barcelona earlier in the window.
However, the interest has faded and the Gunners are now looking to make him their fourth transfer of the summer with interest from Everton for the midfielder. However, the Gunners are favourites to land the Algerian following their involvement in the Champions League and will try to get the deal over the line as soon as possible. Leicester have already lost one of their stars in the form of N'Golo Kante to Chelseaand are desperate to hold on to Mahrez, with manager Claudio Ranieri stating that he is happy to stay at the club despite interest from other quarters.
"I'm confident, of course," Ranieri told the ESPN, when asked if he believed Mahrez would stay. "We know very well there are other teams who must win the Premier League. We just have to defend it. I changed him at last because I said 'okay, his job is done, it's better to avoid injury.' "I'm very happy, we have a very good dressing room. The players who came in are very good."
The Gunners have already been rebuffed in their approach for Jamie Vardy, with the England international signing a new contract with the Foxes despite the Gunners activating his release clause. Wenger is in the market for a striker, with Theo Walcott out of sorts and Danny Welbeck out for the major part of the season.