Wednesday 12 December 2018

Leicester players unhappy with teammate Riyad Mahrez after trying to force move to Man City

A deadline day move to Manchester City failed to materialise for Leicester's Riyad Mahrez
A deadline day move to Manchester City failed to materialise for Leicester's Riyad Mahrez

Nick Mashiter

Riyad Mahrez faces a battle to reintegrate himself at Leicester after failing to land a deadline day move.

The winger missed training on Tuesday to try to force a switch to Manchester City, Press Association Sport understands.

The Foxes ultimately asked for £80million cash for the Algeria international which the Premier League leaders were not willing to pay.

City were only ready to offer £50million plus a player they valued at £15million.

Mahrez must now return to the club, with some players understood to be unhappy with how he has conducted himself.

It is unclear when he will play for the 2016 Premier League champions again.

A 'friend' of Mahrez told Sky Sports on Wednesday the 26-year-old felt down and upset at his treatment by the club. It would be a surprise to see the winger face Swansea at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

He missed Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at Everton with boss Claude Puel hopeful of welcoming Mahrez back into the fold, but remained cautious.

"All the players, all the staff, will help him to come back with a smile, to enjoy his football with his team-mates because he is a great player, fantastic, a good man and he likes football," he said after the game.

"Of course, for the moment, I did not speak with Riyad, but perhaps there is a lot of disappointment.

"We will see when we can manage all this for the future."

Mahrez asked to leave the Foxes last summer and his stance has not changed, although neither has the club's.

They do not want to lose him but should Mahrez, who signed a new four-year contract in 2016, leave it will be on their terms.

Leicester will hold out for what they believe is his market value with Philippe Coutinho moving to Barcelona from Liverpool for £142million and Virgil van Dyke going to Anfield for £75million this month.

Mahrez recently moved agents and is now with by Coutinho's representative Kia Joorabchian.

He won the PFA Player of the Year and scored 18 goals when the Foxes clinched a shock Premier League title in 2016.

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