Leicester boss dismisses star midfielder joining Arsenal as just a ‘rumour’

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri responded to transfer speculation linking Riyad Mahrez with a move to Arsenal as being just rumours.

Ranieri did however, reveal that the ‘rumours’ have been distracting his star man and he urged Mahrez to stay at the club over the summer.

The Italian manager also underlined that the Algerian international must improve his fitness before the start of the league campaign.

“Maybe Riyad is distracted a bit by all of these rumours and speculation,” Ranieri was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “But that is also an experience for my players.

“It is important that he understands that he should stay with us. He has to improve his fitness and play for the team as well as last season.”

Mahrez has been closely linked with a move to Arsenal and head coach Arsene Wenger was in the stands to watch Leicester during their 4-0 defeat against Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Wenger has already been rejected by one Leicester player this summer, as Jamie Vardy turned down the option to join the Gunners despite the North London based outfit triggering his £20 million release clause.

Mahrez was one of the stand out players in the Premier League last season scoring 17 times and provided 11 assists for the Foxes last season. The Algerian international played a key role in Leicester winning the league title and has attracted interest from across Europe as a result.

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