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Arsenal may be forced to shelve their pursuit of Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez after claims the Algerian is holding out for a transfer to Serie A side Roma this summer.
The Gunners have been linked with a move for Mahrez as a contingency option in the event Thomas Lemar does not arrive from Monaco but that option may be eliminated if Roma are successful in prising the Foxes wideman away from the King Power Stadium.
Mahrez has made clear his desire to leave Leicester this summer but Craig Shakespeare is playing hardball over a fee for the player, who according to reports in Italy is ready to push for the transfer to go through.
The Algerian has another three years to run on his current contract but is keen to experience a new challenge following the Foxes’ difficulties since winning the Premier League just over 12 months ago.
He has been a target for Arsenal, but Arsene Wenger is prioritising a move for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar and Mahrez is likely to occupy the void left by Mohamed Salah’s move from Roma to Liverpool.
The latest offer on the table is believed to be €35m plus €3m in performance-related bonuses (a total £34m), which is edging towards the €40m (£35.8m) asking price.