Arsenal and Leicester have apparently been discussing the possibility of Riyad Mahrez making the switch to north London this summer, but the Foxes want Theo Walcott as part a swap deal, according to the Metro.
The report originates from Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli, who insists Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has spoken to Walcott about the switch. The England international apparently has no interest in a move to the Premieer League champions however, which could put a real spanner in the works for Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal and Leicester new meeting for Mahrez. Ranieri has asked Walcott, but the player is not interested.
— Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli) May 20, 2016
Mahrez was absolutely superb this season, with his goals and assists arguably proving to be the driving force behind Leicester’s title win. He’s understandably being chased by a number of top clubs, and it seems Arsenal are pushing hard for a transfer.
Arsenal fans would love to see the Algerian arrive at the expense of Walcott, with the 27-year-old really disappointing over the last few seasons. He’s failed to realise the massive potential he showed when he was a teenager, and despite being the longest serving Arsenal player at the club he’s still nothing more than a fringe player. He’s barely featured at all this season, restricted to brief cameo appearances off the bench for most of the campaign.
There would presumably be a chunk of cash sent Leicester’s way a long with Walcott, as a straight swap would be a phenomenal deal as far as Arsenal are concerned. If Mahrez can replicate the form he’s been showing this season just gone then he’d be a phenomenal signing, while Walcott has just discovered that he won’t be heading to France for the Euros.
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If Walcott has no interest in a Leicester switch then there’s very little Arsenal or Arsene Wenger can do though, and given the wages Walcott is likely on it’s hardly surprising. He’d obviously get more regular game time if he were to leave the Emirates, but if he’s happy to sit back and pick up his paycheck then there’ll be no moving him.