Marseille passed on the chance to sign Riyad Mahrez

French powerhouses, Olympique de Marseille, passed on the chance to sign Leicester City's in-form forward, Riyad Mahrez, less than a year ago.

Failed attempt

The Foxes were buried at the foot of the Premier League table in January when representatives of the player stuck their necks out in order to find a new club for the Algerian.

A member of Marseille's staff was contacted, the club's assistant coach Franck Passi, who didn't think the idea was a bad one.

He then fed the information to the president of Marseille, Vincent Labrune, who told him in no uncertain terms, to go away. He didn't believe that his club could take a player in Mahrez's situation and instantly completely destroyed any rumour of the signing.

Blistering form

Labrune might now be having second thoughts on his failure to sign the winger, with Mahrez having produced some of the league's best individual displays this season.

His first professional hat-trick at the weekend epitomised his electric form for the current league leaders. His link-up play with top scorer Jamie Vardy has seen the two players become one of Europe's best partnerships, both players being directly involved with 16 league goals.

Riyad Mahrez has been on fire for Leicester this season. (Photo: Guardian)
Riyad Mahrez has been on fire for Leicester this season. (Photo: Guardian)

That treble at the weekend saw Mahrez take his league tally to 10, whilst he has also chipped in with six assists for his teammates this season. This return of goals and assists is brilliant especially considering that a large proportion of his appearances have come out wide for Claudio Ranieri's team.

With Mahrez being one of Europe's most sought after players at the current time, Marseille staff and fans will be ruing their president's mistake not to put pen to paper on a deal for the 24-year-old.

Apparent interest from Europe's big guns might see the Algerian playmaker make the switch from the East Midlands to a more exotic location some time in the future, but the Leicester fans will certainly enjoy continuing to watch him while they can.