The Algerian took the bold approach of issuing a statement on his intentions as soon as last season finished but interested clubs were not prepared to do business at the £50million price quoted by Leicester.
Leicester director of football Jon Rudkin illustrated his tough negotiating skills in Danny Drinkwater’s £35m switch to Chelsea, extracting the most value by leaving the deal late, and a softening in the stance on Mahrez is not expected.
Mahrez has begun this season brightly, providing two assists, and is aware that the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal will only do business if he goes on to produce his form from Leicester’s victorious Premier League campaign.
Mahrez has conducted himself well despite his intentions to change clubs, although his decision to depart Algeria’s camp to ‘formalise a transfer’ on deadline day left figures at Leicester perplexed, given no bids had been received.
It is understood Mahrez wanted to situate himself in Europe, rather than travel to Zambia, in case an attractive offer arose.
Roma were the only club to make a serious bid for the former PFA Player of the Year, but the Italian club’s £32m approach fell well short of Leicester’s valuation.