EDIT: As of Friday 29th July, this rumour is picking up again. But once again we’ll ask, why would Koeman be interested in pursuing a right-sided winger who will cost an astronomical sum when we have Deulofeu and Lennon on the squad.
EXCLUSIVE: Everton make £40M move for Riyad Mahrez - Wenger not interested.— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) July 29, 2016
By @gstobart - https://t.co/K6oDlItcI8 pic.twitter.com/EriezYFmTD
The weekend rumour mill sometimes churns up some unexpected gems, and as gems go this one is probably the Koh-i-noor of them all.
Leicester City’s creative dynamo and winner of the PFA Player of the Year for last season Riyad Mahrez has been linked with Arsenal for the last few days, and now apparently there’s a new suitor for him, and it’s none other than so-far-inactive Everton.
Multiple media sources are claiming, without much background, that Ronald Koeman is an admirer of the Algerian’s play (who isn’t?) and wants to bring him to Goodison Park.
The player is rumoured to be valued at £35 million, which seems like chump change considering the Toffees have been linked with a litany of players this transfer window for sums in that range.
Arsenal remain the frontrunners for his signature if he were to leave, with Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri saying yesterday that Mahrez is going nowhere.
In fact, in the days after the Blues captured Foxes’ assistant coach Steve Walsh to be the first ever Director of Football at Everton, it was said that the Toffees dropped their pursuit of Kasper Schmeichel due to a "gentleman’s agreement" between the two clubs that Everton would not poach any Leicester players.
It is difficult to see Everton as serious contenders for Mahrez considering they will not even be in Europe this year, and while the portents of the Koeman era are good so far, with no big signings it’s almost impossible to predict where the Blues will end this season in a league flush with cash and plenty of quality.