As Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri remains optimistic that Riyad Mahrez will continue with the Foxes for one more season, the club is continuing negotiations with the PFA Player of the Year.
Mahrez is prepared to sign fresh terms but is holding out for a salary equitable to Jamie Vardy’s deal, in excess of £100,000 per week.
Leicester has made an offer to boost Mahrez’s current contract, which has three years left to run at £40,000 per week, but the two parties are still thrashing out the exact figures involved and there is work to do.
Ranieri insists the situation will not affect team morale even if they fail to rope in Mahrez’s service. Arsenal has repeatedly been linked to a £40million move, but the coach thinks the 25-year-old is happy to remain at the King Power Stadium.
‘It is only speculation,’ said Ranieri. ‘Riyad will stay with us. He is very happy. I see him every day and never he talks to me about something strange. I am confident in him.
‘This is experience. With the big champions, there are a lot of rumours and you have to be focused on your job. This can improve my players.
‘If he wants to sign a new contract it is OK. For me, it is important that this season stays with us.’