Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are among the clubs who are in last minute discussions with Leicester City to sign their Algerian striker Riyad Mahrez after he was released by the national team to finalise a move to a new club.
Riyad Mahrez was given permission to leave the Algeria squad and return to Europe to "formalise his transfer to his new club'', the Algerian Football Federation has announced.
L’Équipe reported in the middle of the night that Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona are all in active discussions over the possible signing of the ex-Le Havre star.
Leicester winger Mahrez has expressed a desire to leave the King Power Stadium and has been linked with a host of clubs over the summer, with Roma having already had three bids rejected for the 26-year-old, the third being £32 million.
The likes of Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are also reported to be interested in Mahrez, who was PFA Player of the Year in 2016 after playing a key role in Leicester's shock Premier League title win that season.
Spanish news outlet AS claim Barcelona have targeted Mahrez as a potential alternative to Philippe Coutinho.
And it is said they are prepared to pay up to £46million with personal terms reportedly agreed with the player.
Another report claims Arsenal are willing to revive their interest in the tricky winger after failing to sign him last summer.
The reasoning behind Mahrez’s release by the Algerian national team is so that he can rapidly arrive in Paris this morning where he will remain for deadline day in the event that he needs to quickly travel to a possible new club for a medical and talks.
Sources informed GFFN late last night that the situation was very fluid, with there being a possibility that Mahrez could very well still remain at Leicester City, but that Barcelona were a little ahead of the Premier League sides in terms of being in a position to land the winger.
Mahrez has been with the Algeria squad preparing for their upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header with Zambia, but the FAF has given him the green light to resolve his club future before the transfer deadline.
A statement on www.faf.dz read: "Leicester City's Algerian international Riyad Mahrez, who is currently with the national team in Sidi Moussa to prepare for the double confrontation against Zambia for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, was authorised by the national coach Lucas Alcaraz and the Algerian Football Federation to make an express trip to Europe to formalise on Thursday his transfer to his new club.
"The national team will fly without him on Thursday morning to Lusaka to face Zambia on Saturday.''
Mahrez has played all three of Leicester's Premier League fixtures this season.