There was a bid from Roma, I was told afterwards, so I would like to put the record straight on that one.
God, Shakespeare is so elegant, isn’t he...and I’ll stop right there because I’m sure the world is tired of comparing Craig Shakespeare with his more famous 16th century namesake. While no one will confuse this Shakespeare with the Bard of Avon, we can nevertheless appreciate his no-nonsense approach to dealing with transfer rumors.
Speaking to the English press, Shakespeare confirmed that Leicester did receive a bid from Roma for Mahrez—indeed the only bid they’ve received—but it was “politely declined on the basis that it was a low offer.” Fair enough. Shakespeare went on to admit that he doesn’t know how much Roma bid for his star player, but based on everything we’ve discussed and read, we can safely assume it was somewhere between €30 and €35 million.
While Monchi generally keeps things pretty close to the vest—look no further than the Kolarov and Under deals, which came out of nowhere, for examples—it’s widely speculated that Mahrez is the big purchase, the champion to which Roma’s executives have been alluding for the past six weeks or so.
Now that Aleksandar Kolarov is, or soon will be, a Roma player, we can check one position off on Roma’s shopping list, leaving a new right winger, another centerback and possibly a goalkeeper left to buy. The latter two items on that list figure to be non-descript signings, maybe an Antonio Mirante to support Alisson and someone who represents a slight bump up from Leandro Castan, leaving the right wing slot as Roma’s big money purchase.
So, will it be Mahrez or has this all be a smoke screen to another target?