Xavi: Mahrez good enough for Barcelona
FC Barcelona legend Xavi claims that Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez is good enough to play for his former club, but he is glad that he has stayed with the Premier League champions.
“Mahrez is good enough to pay for Barcelona,“ Xavi said. “But I am pleased he decided to stay with Leicester.”
The Algerian winger was tentatively linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, but it was Arsenal who showed the strongest interest in signing Mahrez, and reportedly had a €40 million bid rejected for the Paris born player.
But Mahrez recently committed his future to the Foxes by signing a bumper new contract, as he prepared to help Leicester defend their Premier League title while competing in their first ever Champions League campaign.
Barcelona instead decided to spend around €100 million on six new additions to add strength in depth to their already impressive squad.
In came Dutch international goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from Ajax for €16 million, French defenders Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne from Lyon for 25 million and Paris Saint Germain for €16 million respectively.
Portuguese Euro 2016 winning midfielder André Gomes was signed from Valencia for €55 million, with Denis Suárez joining from Villarreal for the bargain price of €3.75 million.
The final piece for the puzzle for Barça was the addition of a forward to deputise for the MSN front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar.
Paco Alácer of Valencia was the man identified to fulfil that role, and he was signed for €30 million on his 23rd birthday towards the end of the transfer window.