Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City 1-1 West Brom: Mahrez nets first goal of PL season

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The Foxes haven’t had the start to the season that Craig Shakespeare and Co. would have hoped for, but Monday’s performance was certainly a step in the right direction.

[ MORE: Mike Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale ]

Leicester City pulled out a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the King Power Stadium, however, the Foxes remain in the bottom three of the Premier League.

Riyad Mahrez had plenty of chances on the day, and he rescued his side with 10 minutes remaining after powering home a strike into the far corner. The goal marks the Algerian’s first of the 2017/18 campaign.

Despite a frustrating opening hour, the visitors led on 63 minutes when Nacer Chadli curled home a brilliant free kick that left Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel stunned.

For the Belgium international, Chadli becomes West Brom’s seventh different goalscorer of the season.

Leicester nearly came out flying in the second stanza whenMahrez had an open chance in the center of the Baggies penalty area, however, the Algerian winger’s left-footed attempt was too high to hit the target.

[ MORE: Liverpool’s Lovren accuses Lukaku of deliberate stamp ]

Mahrez’s chance came just minutes after West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill was nearly sent off after the 34-year-old took out a streaking Jamie Vardy on the edge of the penalty box.

Monday’s result means both clubs have now gone six matches with a win in PL play.

Report: Chelsea offer $58 million for Riyad Mahrez

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Could Chelsea push ahead and seal three Deadline Day deals?

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With a $30 million move for Torino right back Davide Zappacosta close to completing, beIN Sport are reporting that the Blues have made a $58 million bid for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez.

Leicester have reportedly yet to receive a bid from Chelsea for their mercurial winger but it seems like something is bubbling behind the scenes with the Algerian star.

Multiple outlets in the UK claim that Chelsea have also made a third bid for Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater with Conte obviously hoping to strike late in the window just like he did last season to sign David Luiz and Marcos Alonso who have become influential players for the reigning Premier League champs.

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Mahrez, 27, caused plenty of intrigue earlier today when then Algerian FA revealed he was released by the national team ahead of their World Cup qualifier in Zambia.

The winger was said to have flown to Paris and now, per the report from beIN, he has flown on to London.

After releasing a statement earlier this summer that he wanted to leave Leicester to play in the UEFA Champions League and challenge for titles, the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year has started the season well for the Foxes but a move to Roma broke down as their bids were turned down and it looked like Mahrez would remain at the King Power Stadium.

Riyad Mahrez leaves Algeria squad for possible move

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Riyad Mahrez seems to be readying himself for a Deadline Day move.

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Mahrez, 26, was allowed to leave Algeria’s national team squad on Thursday as the team traveled to Zambia for a 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Reports claim Mahrez has flown to Paris where he is currently hanging out as he waits for a bid to be accepted by Leicester, but other reports claim he is in both London and Barcelona.

This is turning into a real “Where’s Waldo” situation…

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A statement was released from the Algerian FA which said the following.

“Riyad Mahrez was authorized by the national coach Lucas Alcaraz and the Algerian Football Federation to make an express trip to Europe to formalize on Thursday his transfer to his new club. The national team will fly without him on Thursday morning to Lusaka to face Zambia on Saturday.”

Roma had three bids turned down by the Foxes earlier in the window, while Mahrez has been linked with a move to Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona as his future could become the main topic of debate between now and 6 p.m. ET when the summer transfer window closes.

The mercurial winger was named the PFA Player of the Year in 2015-16 as Leicester won the Premier League title.

Mahrez released a statement at the start of this summer saying he wanted to leave the King Power Stadium but heading into the final hours of the window Leicester have reportedly received no fresh bids as he looks to force through a move.

Completing the trident: Why they’ll line up for Barca

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The 2008-09 season was the year Lionel Messi’s numbers went from promising to gaudy, the Argentine wizard overtaking Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry for the team lead in goals.

Since then, he’s annually summited Barca’s goals table aside from Luis Suarez’s almost absurd 59-goal season in 2015-16. You have to say almost absurd because Messi has thrown up 50 or more goals five times, including an actually absurd 73.

[ MORE: Four keys for the USMNT ]

Here are Barca’s leading goal scorers the last nine seasons:

2008-09: Messi-38, Eto’o-36, Henry-26, Xavi-10, Bojan-10
2009-10: Messi-47, Pedro-23, Ibrahimovic-21, Bojan-12
2010-11: Messi-53, Villa-23, Pedro-22, Iniesta-9
2011-12: Messi-73, Fabregas-15, Sanchez-15, Xavi-14, Pedro-13
2012-13: Messi-60, Villa-16, Fabregas-13, Sanchez-8
2013-14: Messi-41, Alexis-19, Pedro-17, Fabregas-13, Neymar-12
2014-15: Messi-58, Neymar-39, Suarez-25, Pedro-11
2015-16: Suarez-59, Messi-41, Neymar-31, Rakitic-9
2016-17: Messi-54, Suarez-37, Neymar-20, Turan-13, Rakitic-9

So of the 30 top-scoring seasons in soccer history, Messi has three and Suarez has one. Cristiano Ronaldo has done it thrice as well, wo players have done it in Wales’ top flight, one in Estonia, and Mario Jardel scored 55 for Sporting CP in 2001-02. That’s it for this century.

All of that is a loooooong preamble to say the following: with Messi and Suarez still very much near the top of their games, the remaining tip of the trident is the most attractive spot in soccer.

So for those who might see how Liverpool’s started and wonder, “Maybe Coutinho is having second thoughts!”, or take a look at reports that Riyad Mahrez is fine as a “Plan B” despite being a former Premier League Player of the Year, and wonder why, here’s why: Any player who gets the chance to sit on the other side of that duo is going to bury at least 20 goals and have an experience few other players have had.

Even if the purported acrimony between Barca’s hierarchy and players is real, Messi isn’t leaving and Barca remains Barca.

Report: Mahrez lined up as Barca’s ‘Plan B’ to Coutinho

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If Liverpool stands firm in its summer-long desire to keep Philippe Coutinho in the fray at Anfield, another Premier League team could take a hit.

AS reports that Barcelona has approached Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez and told him they’d like him at the Camp Nou should the Coutinho move fall through.

And according to the Spanish publication, “The player knows and has accepted his status as a plan B.”

[ MORE: Four keys for the USMNT ]

That’s not to say Mahrez won’t have his alternatives, having been linked to Chelsea, AS Roma, and Arsenal this summer.

The price tag would reportedly be $60 million, some $100 million-plus shy of what Barcelona would pay for Coutinho.

Mahrez, 26, scored 23 goals and added 14 assists over the past two Premier League campaigns, while Coutinho, 25, has 21 and 12 over that same span.

In other words, Barcelona’s sheer lunacy in its Coutinho offer could be overwritten if Liverpool doesn’t change its stance, and Leicester could get a similar player for far less money (Granted Mahrez would have to switch sides of the field because of some bum named Messi).

They should be so lucky.