Mahrez reveals failed Arsenal transfer

English Premier League

Algeria international Riyad Mahrez reveals he was close to completing a move to Arsenal before the move was blocked by Leicester City shortly after winning the Premier League title.

Mahrez played a key role in helping the Foxes secure a first-ever Premier League title in 2016, which earned him the PFA Player of the Year accolade as well as interest from some of Europe's elite.

While N'Golo Kante earned a dream move to Chelsea after winning the title, the Algerian had to wait two more years to secure a move to Manchester City.

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"After the title, if I'd left for a top team, it wouldn't have been the same story," Mahrez told France Football.

"For me, it's clear that I lost two years at the highest level. I lost two years! Because instead of arriving at City at 27, I could have been there at 24, 25.

"Leicester blocked me. They told me: 'You're not leaving, you're not leaving'.

"My agent had spoken to [Arsene] Wenger who really wanted me. It was nearly all done with Arsenal in 2016. I was really frustrated.

"It wasn't easy to go from being the best player in the Premier League to being a part of a team fighting against relegation.

"It's not the same job. Everyone is waiting for you around the corner."

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