Why was Arsenal target Mahrez at the Emirates? Scouting mission, says Puel

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Why was Arsenal target Mahrez at the Emirates? Scouting mission, says Puel

Why was Arsenal target Mahrez at the Emirates? Scouting mission, says Puel

Riyad Mahrez’s recent visit to Arsenal has sparked talk of an imminent transfer, but Leicester boss Claude Puel claims the winger was on a scouting mission.

The Algeria international is generating plenty of speculation once again with the latest recruitment window open.

Potential moves to Liverpool and Arsenal have been mooted for the 26-year-old, with his presence at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday fuelling rumours that he could be heading to north London.

Puel, though, insists too much is being read into Mahrez and Islam Slimani taking in a Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea, with the Foxes manager joking that the pair had been asked to cast an eye over two Premier League rivals.

He told reporters when quizzed on the mounting exit gossip: “I asked Riyad to watch the game to make the report. They were scouts.

"There is nothing to say about Riyad, or Slim or any other player. At this date, no moves on the squad, we will see until the end of the month.

“At the end of January I will be happy. Finished about this question.”

Mahrez has made no secret of his desire to secure a high-profile switch, with transfer requests having been tabled at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester, though, have refused to enter into discussions regarding a possible big-money move for their prized asset.

They are also yet to find a buyer for Slimani, with the 29-year-old striker now considered to be surplus to requirements.

The Algerian is a proven goalscorer, having previously enjoyed a prolific spell in Portugal with Sporting, but he has struggled in England and a reported £20 million asking price is leading suitors to look elsewhere.