Gunners eyed me - Mahrez
Riyad confirms Arsenal tried to sign him
Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez has revealed Arsenal tried to sign him in the summer but the Premier League champions refused to sell him.
The 25-year-old was wanted by the Gunners but admits he was expensive and did not want to force through a move.
“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. “Personally, I think it is a good thing I stayed put.
“It’s now up to me to prove myself again.”
Mahrez was one of the stars of the Foxes’ title-winning run and scored 18 times in 39 appearances last season.
After staying at the King Power Stadium, the Algeria international signed a new deal until 2020 and scored a brace in Leicester’s maiden Champions League match against Bruges.
Elsewhere France defender Djibril Sidibe also turned down Arsenal this summer fearing he would not play regularly - but has targeted a move to England next season.
The 24-year-old joined Monaco from Lille in July, but only after the Gunners failed with a late bid.
“I was on the brink (of signing for Monaco) and (Arsenal) gave me a headache by making a bid at the last moment,” he told “Le Parisien” on Monday.
“After reflecting on it, I was not certain my playing time would be guaranteed. I would have played maybe 25 games this season, including the cups. They also wanted to use me on the left whereas I want to establish myself on the right.
“I chose to stay in Ligue 1 and then leave for the Premier League next year because it is a competition that greatly appeals to me.”
Sidibe has started five of Monaco’s eight Ligue 1 games this season and scored after two minutes in the 4-1 win away to his former club. He has also featured five times in the Champions League.