Claudio Ranieri: Riyad Mahrez can join European giant

Claudio Ranieri: Riyad Mahrez can join European giant


Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says he will not stop Riyad Mahrez joining a European giant this summer if they come calling.

The Algerian international has been a sensation in midfield for the Premier League leaders, netting 15 goals and assisting a further 12 more.

Such has been his form that speculation has suggested both Barcelona and Real Madrid could be prepared to pay up to 25 million euros for his services this summer – a huge profit for Leicester, who paid just 700,000 for him.

Mahrez has said he would like to one day play for Barcelona as his idol is Leo Messi, but with Real set to go on a spending spree ahead of a possible two-transfer window ban, the 25-year-old could end up at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Ranieri said he wouldn’t stop his star man moving if a huge club came in for him.

“We want to keep all our players. We believe in them. But if a player comes to me and says: ‘Boss, I want to go there because it’s my ambition to go there’. I’ll say: ‘Go and enjoy and have good luck’,” he commented.

And he continued: “If I am Riyad I say: ‘There are a lot of teams who want me, OK, I have to show more if I want to go there. I have to show my best, because if I should do my best maybe they want to buy me.’ But for now he must concentrate on the rest of the season with Leicester. If I see him thinking of other teams he comes with me on the bench.”