Leicester City have again reiterated their intent to keep hold of star player Riyad Mahrez – despite continued interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Speaking ahead of the Foxes FA Community Shield clash against Manchester United on Sunday, head coach Claudio Ranieri again stated his desire to keep hold of the Algerian.
Mahrez was key to the Premier League champions success last season – his 17 goals and 11 assists guiding the club to a first top-flight title in their history.
The Gunners are keen to lure the reigning PFA Player of the Year away from King Power Stadium, but Ranieri is having none of it:
“It is not a distraction for me,” said the Italian boss. “I am used to speaking about these things.
“It is important that my players believe in the new moment. It is normal others wants Riyad but we must focus on the job.
“I speak with him a lot and I hope I can help him. The chairman told me at the beginning, when we spoke, that we want to keep everybody.
“[New Chelsea signing] N’Golo Kante had a clause and wanted to go, but the others stay with us.
Ranieri continued: “He [Mahrez] has a contract – another three years. Why does he have to sign? He has money and everything.
“The players are OK. Now our thought is about the match, not something else. The players worked so hard to achieve this great match at Wembley Stadium.”
Foxes chief Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha weighed in on the transfer saga with a light-hearted post on Instagram: