Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare insists there have still been no official bids tabled for Riyad Mahrez, despite suggestions that AS Roma have already seen an initial offer rejected as they look to move ahead of Arsenal in the race for the wantaway former PFA Player of the Year.
The Serie A runners-up are in the market for a new winger having sold Mohamed Salah to Liverpool last month. The Leicester Mercury report that Roma are plotting a second €30m (£26.5m, $34.6m) approach for Mahrez - who is reportedly willing to see his £100,000-a-week wages reduced as he bids to make a swift return to the Champions League - having already failed with a bid of approximately €23m last week.
The two parties still appear to be someway apart with regard to their respective valuations of the Algerian international, with Leicester said to be holding out for a fee in the region of £50m. Mahrez is under contract in the East Midlands until 2020 having only agreed a lucrative new four-year deal in August 2016.
Providing an update on the situation during a press conference in Hong Kong, where the Foxes are set to open their Premier League Asia Trophy campaign against familiar foes West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday night (19 July), Shakespeare was adamant that no offers had been received.
"Riyad stated his position very clearly," he said, as per Reuters. "Mine is really simple: while he is here and while we have had no bids - and we haven't had any bids, it's all been speculation - he has to be committed to the football club.
"And I have to say, in the two weeks he's been back he's been totally committed and really trained well. Outgoings are inevitable at any football club but until there's a bid for your player there's no decision to be made."
Mahrez is evidently desperate to seal an imminent transfer away from the King Power Stadium, releasing a statement in May to declare that he had informed Leicester of his desire to move on. The 26-year-old described himself "fiercely ambitious" and revealed that he agreed with the club last summer that he would stay for one more season following their fairytale title triumph in order to help with the transition into European football's elite club competition.
Arsenal were quickly mentioned alongside Chelsea and Barcelona as likely suitors, with Arsene Wenger admitting that he could formalise his interest in a player he admires. It has since been suggested that the Gunners are also unwilling to meet Leicester's valuation as they pursue another option in AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar.