Riyad Mahrez is reportedly closer to joining Arsenal after having given up on his priority move to Barcelona. Sport claims that the Leicester City wantaway is tired of waiting for the La Liga giants and is now considering accepting a four-year offer to continue his career at the Emirates Stadium.
Mahrez, 26, was already linked with Barcelona during the last summer transfer window when the La Liga giants were looking for a versatile forward to serve as a back-up for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
The 2015-2016 Premier League player of the year then made little effort to diminish the talks, being pictured wearing a Barcelona shirt while admitting his childhood dream was to play for Ernesto Valverde's side.
"I used to dream of playing in the Nou Camp when I was younger, so it'd be amazing, if we finish in the top four and play there [at Barcelona] in the Champions League next season," the Leicester City star then said to MOTD Magazine.
Mahrez finally signed a new four-year contract with the Premier League champions but recently revealed his ambition to move onto a "new experience" during the summer transfer window.
"The chairman and I agreed that I would stay another year at the club and that he would let me leave at the end of the season," he added. "I think it would be the right time for me to leave, I have experienced everything at this football club. I went from the Championship to the Premier League, I stayed up with the team the next season, we won the Premier League, I won the PFA Player of the Year award, I played the Champions League, so we did something quite exceptional."
Barcelona have since been among the clubs linked with his services, with new manager Valverde having earmarked the signing of a right winger as a priority ahead of the upcoming season.
Sport claims that the priority of the Leicester star was to move to Barcelona and there has been some contact in that sense in recent weeks. However, the Spanish publication says that he has decided to give up waiting for the La Liga giants as he wants to resolve his future as soon as possible.
The report claims that Barcelona's top priorities are to bolster their midfield and right-back areas with then additions of Marco Verratti and Arsenal star Hector Bellerin. In this sense, they suggests that Valverde's side will only have money to spend on a winger like Mahrez if they fail to sign the former.
The Leicester star is not ready to wait any longer for Barcelona to make that decision and is thus reportedly considering completing a move to Arsenal as soon as this week in a deal worth up to €40m (£35.2m, $44.8m).
Now Sport claims that there is a 4-year offer on the table and Mahrez could become the Gunners' second signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of Sead Kolasinac.