Liverpool have made contact with Leicester City over a January move for Riyad Mahrez, according to reports.
Algeria international Mahrez has been a key player for Leicester since signing from Le Havre three years ago and played a huge role in the club’s Premier League truimph in 2016.
Mahrez, who was named in the PFA Team of the Year for his efforts during that campaign, has been repeatedly linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona are said to have expressed interest in securing his services but Liverpool lead the pack having made contact with the Foxes over a deal, according to L’Equipe.
The Reds remain interested in signing long-term target Thomas Lemar, however, and both players could be seen as replacements for Philippe Coutinho, who is expected to join Barcelona for a fee worth over £140million.
Asked about Mahrez’s future at Leicester, manager Claude Puel said this week: ‘I want to keep all my best players in the squad. Riyad is a valuable player to the team.
‘When I discuss things with him he has shown a good attitude, he is enjoying his football. He is a happy player. This is a good thing.
‘He likes to play with his team-mates. He has improved all his stats with assists and goals. It is all positive for him. I want to continue this work with all my best players, like Riyad.
‘No (he hasn’t said he wants to leave). He is happy with the squad. After that, it is speculation. For me, there is no problem. He is happy to play with his team-mates. He loves football.
‘In the transfer window, people can make speculation about players and transfers, but I am not worried because I like the player. It is easy to speak with him and he likes the football and this is the most important thing.’