Riyad Mahrez Reveals Liverpool Were Interested in Him Prior to Signing Mohamed Salah

Adam Aladay
Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City - FA Cup Fifth Round
Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City - FA Cup Fifth Round / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez has explained that Liverpool held an interest in him back when he was with Leicester, but a deal failed to materialise after Mohamed Salah made the switch to Anfield instead.

Mahrez was an integral part of the Leicester side that produced one of the greatest sporting stories in 2016, helping guide the Foxes to an unexpected Premier League title. At the end of the following season, the Algerian declared that he was keen to move on - which naturally saw him attract plenty of attention from Europe's elite.

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League
Leicester City v Everton - Premier League / Michael Regan/Getty Images

But it wasn't until the summer of 2018 that Mahrez left the Foxes, joining Manchester City for around £60m. The forward has now revealed that prior to his move to the Etihad, Liverpool were among the clubs interested in securing his services. However, they opted to sign Salah in the summer of 2017 for around £34m instead. As a result, this saw any potential move to Anfield fall through.

"Before signing at Manchester City, there was an interest in Liverpool for me, but as soon as they took Mo Salah, it was finished," Mahrez told DZ Foot in an Instagram Live video.

One reason the Reds may have turned towards Salah instead of Mahrez is price. Having become the first Algerian to win the PFA Player of the Year award, Mahrez's stock was continuing to rise after Leicester's remarkable title-winning season. But when it became apparent that Mahrez was set on a move away, the Foxes offloaded him for a considerable profit.

Liverpool FC v AFC Bournemouth  - Premier League
Liverpool FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League / Jan Kruger/Getty Images

At the time, eyebrows were raised when Liverpool signed Salah - but the Egyptian quickly proved his worth. Salah has made 144 appearances for the Reds so far, scoring hugely impressive 91 goals while contributing 37 assists as well. This form has helped his team develop into one of the best sides in Europe, claiming Champions League glory last season.

As for Mahrez, he hasn't had quite the same impact at City but remains a valuable member of Pep Guardiola's squad. In 81 appearances, he's chalked up 21 goals and 26 assists - decent numbers to say the least - and has another Premier Leagye winners medal on his mantelpiece.