Tottenham Hotspur are reported to have turned down the opportunity to sign Arsenal target Rihad Mahrez from Leicester City.
As reported in The Metro, Spurs have a greater interest in Mahrez’ s Leicester teammate Demarai Gray, who has become unsettled after failing to hold down a starting role in the Foxes first team despite consistently excellent performances.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is a known long term admirer of the twenty-year-old, and recognises that he could be the perfect player to supplement his teams problematic right hand side, whilst fitting a similar profile to their young British core, which includes Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
Tottenham’s interest in Gray is also complicated, however, by their current unwillingness to meet Gray’s £22million release clause, given his lack of starts for Leicester.
Whilst Arsenal will be pleased to know that their north London rivals will not be competing for long-term target Mahrez, they face renewed competition from Italy for the Algerians services.
Indeed, Serie A champions Juventus are now said to be considering him as an alternative to Bayern Munich wide-man Douglas Costa, whose upcoming transfer saga could stretch well into the summer.
Speaking on the issue earlier this week, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger remained understandably coy, saying: ‘‘Have we made a bid for him? No. Not yet,’ he said last week. ‘Not yet means it could happen, it could not happen.’’