AS Roma sporting director Monchi says Leicester City refused to sell Riyad Mahrez to them during the summer transfer window – also blocking a potential move to Barcelona.

Mahrez, 26, handed in a transfer request to leave the Foxes in May but Leicester stood firm on their £50m valuation of the player. Speculation over his future intensified on the final day of the summer transfer window when the Algerian FA confirmed the player had been given permission to leave their camp in order to complete a transfer, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal also touted as possible destinations.

Roma's efforts was perhaps the most prolonged and saw three bids for the player rejected as they sought to bring him in to replace Mohamed Salah following his move to Liverpool.

Monchi, the transfer guru who arrived in Rome this summer following a hugely successful spell at Sevilla, pushed hard for the deal, but could not break Leicester's resistance.

But they were not the only ones, with Monchi insisting Barcelona were similarly frustrated in their attempts to sign the Algerian.

"We wanted a forward that could replace Mohamed Salah and we thought of [Riyad] Mahrez," Monchi told Gazzetta dello Sport. "However, if the deal was not carried out it was because the club did not want to sell [him]. It's not an excuse, since they also said no to Barcelona."

Monchi also went on record in saying Roma will not be reviving their attempts to sign Mahrez in the January transfer window.

Before their transfer plans were so radically changed by Neymar's world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain, Mahrez was named as a possible transfer target for the Calatan giants.

Sport claimed Barcelona had been monitoring the Leicester star since the Foxes' 2015-16 Premier League title triumph and had been considering a deal worth €35m.