Claudio Ranieri and Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha seem increasingly confident that Riyad Mahrez will still be at the club next season.
Reacting to comments from Mahrez’s agent Kamel Bengougam that it’s ‘50/50’ whether the Algerian stays or goes, Ranieri described himself as 99% confident that the player would remain at the King Power Stadium.
Srivaddhanaprabha, meanwhile, has been quoted in the Daily Mail as saying the winger told him he wanted to stay when interest from Barcelona and Arsenal was first discussed.
However, the Foxes’ VC also acknowledged that he was unable to unequivocally say Mahrez, 6/4 to score against Everton, would be a Leicester player next term.
The newly-crowned PFA player of the year has kept his counsel thus far but would be wise to ponder the fate of Steven Gerrard before spurning advances.
Like the Algerian, the Liverpool captain found himself at a career crossroads in the immediate aftermath of a mind-boggling achievement in 2004/05.
Linked with a move to Chelsea since the preceding summer, even after he won the Champions League for the club virtually single-handedly, Gerrard’s future was still sufficiently undecided for him to reject a new £100,000-a-week contract at his boyhood club.
Faced with deserting the team that meant so much to him and with whom he made history for greater chances of future league and continental titles, the Liverpool leader ultimately spurned the Blues’ advances.
Gerrard won just three more trophies, the Community Shield and FA Cup the following campaign and the Capital One Cup six years later.
During the same period Chelsea brought three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, a brace of League Cups, a Community Shield, a Champions League and a Europa League to Stamford Bridge.
For Mahrez the sentimental pull of a new contract with the Foxes will tough to ignore in the wake of the impossible dream they’ve achieved together.
Yet, it won’t be half as strong as the tractor beam that sucked Liverpool-born-and-bred Stevie G back into the arms of the Kop.
He should feel freer to turn his back on the King Power Stadium if the Camp Nou comes calling as a result.