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Ranieri confident Mahrez will stay

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Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez in action for Leicester City during their International Champions Cup match against Celtic. PHOTO/ STUART WALLACE FOR DAILYMAIL

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez in action for Leicester City during their International Champions Cup match against Celtic. PHOTO/ STUART WALLACE FOR DAILYMAIL

LEICESTER CITY, United Kingdom, July 30- Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is optimistic that midfielder Riyad Mahrez will remain at King Power Stadium ahead of the upcoming Premier League season.

It is understood that Arsenal are interested in acquiring the 25-year-old’s services, but the reigning Premier League champions are determined to keep hold of the PFA Player of the Year as he scored 18 goals and notched up 10 assists for them in all competitions last season.

Ranieri has been in constant contact with Mahrez and has not seen any signs that the Algeria international wants to leave Leicester.

“If he wants to sign a new contract it is OK. For me it is important that this season he stays with us,” Ranieri told reporters. “He is very happy. I see him every day and he has never talked to me about something strange. I am confident with him. This is experience.

“The club is working very well and I think the players want to stay with us to try and to improve on last season. We know that is very difficult but we are ambitious. Then it is important they sign, stay with us and gain experience in the Champions League. Then we will see.”

If Leicester to end up losing Mahrez, he will be the second high-profile player they will have lost this summer after midfielder N’Golo Kante joined Chelsea for a reported fee of £32 million.

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