Speaking after his side’s win over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told the Daily Star of the club’s intentions to sign Mahrez and said that he is optimistic about concluding a deal.
“I can’t predict what will happen," the Frenchman told the Daily Star. "I am optimistic and we’re working on it. We have Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere out and you always want to add goalscorers to your squad."
The Algeria international joined Leicester in January 2014 and immediately played a role in the club’s promotion to the Premier League from the Championship.
Last season, he appeared in 30 league matches but it is his form this campaign which is making all the headlines - he has scored four goals in four matches and has picked up three Man of the Match awards.
Aside from his goals, Mahrez has proven to be a real attacking threat for the Foxes, averaging 3.3 shots, two key passes and 2.5 successful take-ons per Premier League encounter.
At 24, he clearly has bags of potential and he is capable of playing on either flank, a trait which would sit well with Arsenal manager Wenger as he likes his attackers to interchange.
However, the Gunners’ interest comes as a shock considering their current wealth of talent and heavy competition for places in the final third.
With Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and even Tomas Rosicky at their disposal, do Arsenal really need another winger or attacking midfielder?
With the transfer deadline looming, if the North Londoners are to make some late additions, surely they must be looking at an extra defensive midfielder or a centre-forward...