Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez has confirmed Arsenal tried to sign him last summer but the Premier League champions refused to sell.
Mahrez, who was a key component in Leicester’s march to the title last season, was continually linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium during the transfer window but a move never materialised.
However, the Algeria international has revealed there was an approach from Arsenal but he refused to force through a move with Claudio Ranieri determined to keep him at the King Power Stadium.
“There was contact with Arsenal,” Mahrez told Canal Football Club.
“But Leicester wanted to keep me and I was pretty expensive.
“I did not want to create a conflict when the offer came in.”
Mahrez eventually drew a line under the speculation surrounding his future by signing a new contract with Leicester, tying him to the club until 2020.
The 25-year-old, who was named PFA Player of the Year last season, has so far failed to live up to the heights of last season, scoring once in seven appearances in the Premier League.
And Mahrez, who scored 17 goals in the league last season, insists he has to prove himself once again after opting to stay with Leicester.
“Personally, I think it is a good thing I stayed put,” Mahrez added.
“It’s now up to me to prove myself again.”