CHELSEA are the only top team in the Premier League who will consider buying Riyad Mahrez before the transfer window shuts, says pundit Paul Merson.
Mahrez was keen on leaving Leicester earlier this summer but no club has matched the Foxes’ asking price.
Serie A outfit Roma have seen bids rejected for the Algeria international and have now ended their interest in him.
Merson expects Mahrez to still be a Leicester player come the end of the window.
However, he reckons Chelsea may look to bring him to Stamford Bridge but only as a backup to star forward Eden Hazard.
“Yeah I do (think he will stay),” Merson said on Sky Sports of Riyad Mahrez.
“What Roma are offering is just not enough in this day and age and in this market, when you watch what he can do.
“Nobody else has come in for him.
“When you were going through the teams then I was thinking who could he play for?
“Liverpool have bought already, Arsenal have loads of them players, Man United no, Tottenham no, I think Chelsea no.
“Unless Chelsea buy him as another squad player.
“Then he won’t play but he’ll play when Hazard doesn’t play.”
Riyad Mahrez will look to help Leicester to back-to-back league wins when they take on Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening (5.30pm).
He has been named in the starting XI by manager Craig Shakespeare for the third successive game.
More Breaking News:
Renato Sanches left out of Bayern Munich squad amid Chelsea and Liverpool links
And, that has set a lot of Chelsea tongues wagging on Twitter, with many suggesting that the youngster has a very bright future ahead of him at Stamford Bridge.
Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches asked to be left out of the club’s squad to face Werder Bremen in order to resolve his future.
The Portugal international has been heavily linked with an exit from the Allianz Arena this summer and Carlo Ancelotti hinted he would leave the club earlier this week.
Antonio Conte enquired about Sanches’ avilablity after Chelsea’s pre-season fixture with Bayern in Singapore and Liverpool have been linked with him this week.
Manchester United were close to signing Sanches last summer but Bayern sealed a £44m move for him before the season ended.
Bayern would rather recoup as much of that fee as possible for Sanches in the next week but he could be available on a season-long loan with an option to buy.
Chelsea are expected to be busy in the final days of the window and Conte wants up to four new arrivals.
Liverpool booked their place into the Champions League group stages this week and Jurgen Klopp insisted afterwards that it’ll be easier to attract players to Anfield.
Sanches is receptive to a move to the Premier League and wants first-team football in order to restore his place in Portugal’s squad.