Leicester City are facing a fresh approach for Riyad Mahrez – from Italian giants Roma.
The Algeria winger attracted strong interest from Arsenal, Barcelona and Juventus following a return to form at the end of the season.
France-born Mahrez inspired the Foxes to the 2016 Premier League title and last season’s Champions League quarter-finals, and was voted 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year.
The Gunners, Barca and Juve cooled their enthusiasm for the 26-year-old after Leicester placed a £50million price-tag on him.
But Roma have now set their sights on Mahrez as a replacement for Mohamed Salah, who has joined Liverpool in a deal worth up to £45m.
The Serie A club’s sporting director Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, also known as Monchi, has begun making enquiries into the prospects of bringing Mahrez to the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco has demanded a top-quality successor to former Chelsea flop Salah, who hit 15 goals last season.
The capital city club finished second, just four points behind serial champions Juve, and can offer Mahrez Champions League football in the upcoming campaign.
Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare has voiced his fears that an unsettled Mahrez could disrupt dressing-room harmony at the King Power Stadium.
And Roma officials are now understood to be readying an opening £30m offer to test Leicester’s resolve to hang on to the Paris-born ace.