Arsenal eye £40m deal for top target as part of Wenger’s £150m budget

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Arsenal will reportedly make a £40m bid for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, with Arsene Wenger refusing to rule out a swoop this summer.

The 26-year-old released a statement earlier this week confirming his intention to leave the Foxes this summer, and early speculation has linked him with a move to the Emirates.

According to The Sun, Wenger will have around £150m to spend this summer after confirming that he will remain in north London for another two years, and he will be under pressure to add key additions ahead of next season to ensure the Gunners are competitive.

The report claims that £40m of that budget could go on Mahrez, as it comes after the French tactician remained coy on his interest in the Premier League title winner.

“We have not made a bid for him but personally I like the player, yes. Have we made a bid for him? No. Not yet. Not yet means it could happen, it could not happen.”

Mahrez was a star performer for Leicester during their title-winning campaign, but he has struggled to follow that up this past season. However, it doesn’t seem to have put Wenger off as he could swoop in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the 67-year-old has also been talking about influential pair Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, who both have expiring contracts which run down next summer.

With little to no progress being made, or at least being publicly shared, at this point, concern continues to grow over whether or not they will still be at the Emirates next season. Wenger though is adamant that they will be and remains confident of securing new deals of them.

“No [they will not be sold this summer],” he is quoted as saying by The Sun. “This summer first of all they will stay at the club – hopefully they can extend their contracts. You cannot weaken the club and the team – unless you find a player of the same calibre.

“I believe at the moment we are not at that point. We are just focused on keeping the team together and see how to strengthen the team.”

Arsenal will need to act swiftly and will have to stretch themselves to meet the pair’s reported demands, but it seems as though Wenger is still pretty calm about the entire situation for now.

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