Leicester City manager Claude Puel has revealed that he expects Riyad Mahrez to continue at the club beyond the end of the January transfer window despite interest from a host of clubs across the Premier League. The 26-year-old forward has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, but no concrete bids have been made for the midfielder thus far.
Liverpool are on the lookout for a goalscorer after selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for a fee of around £142m. They have already invested £75m on Virgil van Dijk in a massive statement of intent for the January window in a bid to improve their defence and would have money to spare even after completing a move for the forward.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are also deeply in the hunt for a player to replace the goals made by the departing Alexis Sanchez, who is on his way to Manchester United. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is being sought after as part of a swap deal but a deal has not been completed thus far owing to issues over agreeing personal terms.
The Gunners are also in talks with Borussia Dortmund for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has reportedly agreed personal terms with the Gunners, but the move is held up as both clubs try to sort out a fee to process the transfer. The Gabon international striker was not included in the squad against Hertha Berlin and was left behind in Dortmund after it was revealed that he was not in the right mental state to play at the weekend.
Should a move fall through for either, the Gunners are expected to reignite their interest in Mahrez, who has been in brilliant form this season. The Algerian has scored seven goals and assisted seven in the league thus far and would be a massive addition for any team should the move happen this window.
Chelsea also have their eyes on the attacker, with manager Antonio Conte keen to strengthen his squad in this window after falling behind in the race for the Premier League title and a Champions League clash against Barcelona to contend with next month. The Blues are in the market for a striker, with Edin Dzeko currently emerging as the favourite for a move to Stamford Bridge.
However, Puel is confident that despite the reported interest, Mahrez is no closer to an exit and would rather see out the season with the 2015/16 champions.
"He's enjoying playing for Leicester with his team-mates," Puel said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. "This is the most important thing - we have this good feeling that the player wants to stay with us. It is important for us to keep a good feeling with our player. My boss - the owner - will decide."