The future of Riyad Mahrez, 25, took an unexpected twist yesterday.
Speculation over the weekend intensified that Arsenal were set to launch a £35m bid for the Algerian winger. His agent denied contact with the Gunners whilst Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, proclaimed that the Footballer of the Year would do better to stay rather than sit on the bench elsewhere.
But kit manufacturer Adidas has put the cat among the pigeons by selling Chelsea shirts with ‘Mahrez’ above the number 7. The shirts were hastily withdrawn from the Blues website but photos had already circulated on social media.
It’s the second time this summer that the German company has made this mistake. Days before the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Manchester United had been completed, they were selling his shirts via the Old Trafford shop.
Chelsea have made no secret of their desire to sign Mahrez. The subject was broached with the Premier League champions during the negotiations over N’Golo Kante, 25. A deal worth £32m was eventually agreed for the French international.
The Foxes are determined to hang onto their prized asset. Mahrez is set to be offered a new £100,000 per week deal, similar to the one which persuaded Jamie Vardy, 29, to reject a move to Arsenal before Euro 2016.
Is Adidas’ blooper the real deal? If so, they are more accurate than Paul the Octopus with their predictions.
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