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Wenger admits he is a big fan of Riyad Mahrez

Arsenal are ready to splash out on Leicester City winger

Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is a big fan of Leicester City attacking midfielder Riyad Mahrez, but he was “never close” to signing him.

The 26-year-old winger has been scouted by the London club at the start of the transfer window after publicly announcing that he wants to leave the King Power Stadium.

Rumours of the Algerian international joining the Gunners have gone quiet over the past month or so, with Roma now understood to be on the brink of signing him, and the 67-year-old specialist claims that he saw no real reason to make an offer.

“We were never close,” Wenger 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.”