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With Roma cooling their interest in Riyad Mahrez, manager Craig Shakespeare has said it’s highly likely he’ll feature in Friday’s Premier League opener.
Shakespeare was meeting with the media today with one eye on the upcoming game and one eye on transfers, and Mahrez was obviously a big part of that.
Sky Sports have Shakey saying that he has no concerns over Mahrez’s attitude or commitment to the club, despite his stated wish to leave and the handing in of a transfer request, and confirmed he remains in contention for the Arsenal game.
‘I have to say he’s been very focused, when I say driven – he hasn’t given me one problem of pulling him to the side and saying, ‘oi, pull your finger out’. We know he’s come out and said that he wants to leave. Until we get a bid that is accepted that is reasonable for Leicester then he stays. As long as he stays focused, then he will be considered for selection.’
With at least two offers believed to have been rejected by Roma as they failed to meet our valuation, there is talk of interest from Inter Milan now but as of yet Roma were the only side to make contact.
‘We’re a club that doesn’t need to sell, which is vitally important. I think we’ve got owners that want to keep their best players. The reality is we’re living with the current situation of the transfer window. Every club is living in that reality. We have to deal with it, we don’t want to be a selling club – we want to add what to what we’ve already got.’
Moving onto our business this summer, which most recently saw Manchester City attacker Kelechi Iheanacho come in, Shakespeare added.
‘I’m really pleased with what we’ve got and the manner in which we’ve done it. The Kelechi one, you could have watched the whole boxset of Game of Thrones during the whole saga of it. That’s what it felt like. That’s the industry that we’re in and the reality of it. We got some of the other ones over the line early and I think that’s what put a bit of message out, which was good. They’ve all settled in and I’ve spoken before about the characters of incoming players – all have impressed me with their characters, as well as their ability.’
With supposed interest now from Inter Milan, the Leicester Mercury are reporting that Roma could now be planning a further bid, said to be around the £36million mark despite saying they were walking away.
Inevitably this saga isn’t over yet, at least in terms of the media.