Riyad Mahrez admitted that while he would like to remain with champions Leicester City in the Premier League for now, he would be tempted if the right offer came along.
Last season’s PFA Player of the Year was linked with a move to Arsenal early in the off-season, and while Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has remained adamant he will stay, Mahrez says “two or three clubs” could tempt him away from King Power Stadium.
Asked if he could imagine playing anywhere else than England, in an interview with France Football, Mahrez said: “[The Premier League] is a super league and I would like to stay as long as possible.
“Now, there are two or three clubs in the world, that if they come for me, it definitely makes you think, if you understand what I’m trying to say.”
In reaction to reports linking him to Chelsea, after he was seen in the same hotel as Antonio Conte, Mahrez denied any possibility.
“I do not overthink things too much. I am not in that world. I play football, and then I go home. It is true that, in England, they are crazy at that level,” he said.
“Last Sunday [7 August] after a match, we found ourselves in the same hotel as Chelsea and they came up with something about that.
“They find the smallest thing to enter into your life. I know how to deal with it. I am not David Beckham either.”
The 25-year-old was talismanic in Leicester’s historic run to the Premier League title last term, notching up 17 goals and 11 assists.
Despite the English media’s increasing presence, finding comfort in training loads has been welcome for the Algeria international and he credits Ranieri for helping him in this respect.
“[Ranieri] immediately took me under his wing and gave me a lot of confidence. And he has brought me to be more rigorous with my game…In this sense, I have progressed because of the work demanded by the coach,” Mahrez explained.
“At Leicester, I arrive three hours before the match for example. We eat a bit together, and then head to the match. We also have a lot of rest days. We are calmer, it is another mentality.
“But, again, on the pitch, we push ourselves to the limit. They give us the confidence to take responsibility for ourselves. I like that way of managing, there is a sense of liberty that works well with me.”