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Tottenham sneak up on Arsenal with move for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez

Spurs could beat their arch-rivals to signing of Algerian winger with offer of Champions League football a key attraction

Tottenham Hotspur are set to snatch wantaway Leicester star Riyad Mahrez from under the noses of arch-rivals Arsenal, according to reports.

Spurs have yet to sign a player this summer but could temp the 2016 PFA Player of the Year with the offer of Champions league football – unlike the Gunners.

Riyad Mahrez could become Tottenham’s first summer signing

Riyad Mahrez could become Tottenham’s first summer signing


Roma have already made two bids for Mahrez, but have said they will not up their offer of £32m in a third attempt.

Leicester want £50m for the Algerian winger, a figure which cautious Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is likely to baulk at.

Tottenham have already sold Kyle Walker to Manchester City and have been battling to fend off Manchester United’s advances for Eric Dier.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has even had to deal with Cheslea manager Antonio Conte questioning Spurs’ ambition.

But with their rivals splashing the cash, and Tottenham fans getting nervous, Pochettino has said: “Our moment will arrive. We have a plan.”

Everton and England midfielder Ross Barkely is a likely target, and the Express reports that Mahrez is also on Spurs’ wish-list.

Arsenal have been seen as favourites to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester

Peter Tarry - The Sunday Times
Arsenal have been seen as favourites to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester

Mahrez was a key man as Leicester shocked the world by winning the Premier League in 2015/16.

He also scored 10 goals and provided seven assists last season as Leicester fought off relegation and reached the Champions League quarter-finals.

But the Algerian released a statement in May saying that he wanted to move on.

“I am fiercely ambitious and feel that now is the time to move on to a new experience,” said Mahrez, who was also heavily linked with Barcelona.

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