Riyad Mahrez spotted hanging out in Algerian alley

Avoiding publicity as links to Arsenal increase

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City during the UEFA Champions League match between Leicester City FC and FC Copenhagen at The King Power Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

Leicester City wing Riyad Mahrez, still in the transfer rumor mill right now, was last seen playing a game of barefoot football in a rural town in Algeria, the country where his parents hail from and the nation he currently represents on the international stage. The 26-year-old was seen kicking around the football in Beni Snous, a northwestern Algerian town that is far from urban. Mahrez was seen making conversation with the residents in the area and children who passed him by.

This spotting comes as Barcelona and Arsenal have come out ahead in the running for Mahrez’s services. That race became earnest when Mahrez announced his desire to leave Leicester City. Mahrez finished last season with six goals in 36 appearances, leading his club in shots on goal. This was a bit of a step down from his performance in the previous season, when he won the PFA Player of the Year award en route to leading Leicester City to a shocking Premier League title in 2015. Arsenal is still interested in Mahrez despite the slight down year for the Algerian footballer, hoping they can get either him or Thomas Lemar from Monaco at the position, one that desperately needs to be filled, especially if Alexis Sanchez goes through with his departure from the club. Leicester City is hoping to reap a fortune for Mahrez, looking for bids above the 40 million pound mark.

Leicester City is preparing to lose Mahrez, and is reported to be targeting Watford forward Troy Deeney as a potential replacement. Leicester City presented a 25 million pound deal last season and was rejected by Watford, and it appears that they’re going to bid slightly lower this time around, so it’s unclear if Deeney will indeed move.

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