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Arsene Wenger: Arsenal "never close" to signing Riyad Mahrez

Wenger: Arsenal
© SilverHub
Arsene Wenger further distances himself from Riyad Mahrez, claiming that Arsenal have no reason to sign the Leicester City winger.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is a big fan of Riyad Mahrez, but he was "never close" to signing the winger from Leicester City.

The Algeria international was heavily linked with the Gunners at the start of the transfer window after publicly announcing that he wants to leave the King Power Stadium.

Rumours of Mahrez joining Arsenal have gone quiet over the past month or so, with Roma now understood to be on the brink of signing him, and Wenger claims that he saw no real reason to make an offer.

"We were never close," he told reporters. "I rate him as a player but we have similar types with Alex Iwobi, Jack Wilshere back. Mesut Ozil... we have plenty of the same type of players."

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare intends to play Mahrez in Friday evening's meeting with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, despite the ongoing speculation.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring Leicester's second from the penalty spot against Everton on December 19, 2015
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1Manchester CityMan City87102942522
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd86202121920
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs85211551017
4Watford84311313015
5Chelsea8413138513
6Arsenal84131210213
7Burnley834186213
8Liverpool83411312113
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle832398111
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9324910-111
11West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom824279-210
12Southampton823379-29
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14Swansea CitySwansea822458-38
15Everton8224513-88
16Stoke CityStoke8224918-98
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham9225817-98
18Leicester CityLeicester81341013-36
19Bournemouth8116412-84
20Crystal Palace8107218-163