Riyad Mahrez's Whereabouts Still Unknown Following Absence From Leicester's Matchday Squad

Posted February 05, 2018

Riyad Mahrez is, of course, the biggest omission from the Leicester squad, having failed to turn up to training since handing in a transfer request in an attempt to force a move through to Manchester City.

The hosts led through Jamie Vardy's goal but after Federico Fernandez headed Swansea level early in the second half, Leicester lacked the guile and craft so often provided by Mahrez to respond and had to settle for a point.

Leicester City defender Harry Maguire insists that the players are ready to "welcome" back Riyad Mahrez into the fold.

Since the proposed move fell through, Mahrez has been making the headlines for missing training and angering his teammates, while he is yet to make a Premier League appearance since the end of the transfer saga. "It's of course always a hard situation and we will have to manage this situation with Riyad", Puel said.

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"Riyad is not available for this game", said Foxes boss Claude Puel.

The Algerian has gone AWOL at Leicester after failing to secure a move to Manchester City on deadline day.

Man City had decided, having spend nearly £60m on a French U21 global centre-back, had decided that a Premier League victor and Ballon d'Or nominee was not worth £20m more than that.

The bid was some $40 million short of Leicester's valuation for a player who has been a constant in the side for 18 months.

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"I can understand disappointment, and it was a good opportunity for him".

In general, it doesn't pay to keep players at the club if their mind is elsewhere, even if Leicester may believe their decision to keep Mahrez until now was justified. May he come back to us in great shape.

Liverpool blocked Philippe Coutinho from joining Barcelona last summer but had to let him go in this winter transfer window for £142 million as the club returned for his services. He is an important player for us, of course.

"He's seen Drinkwater go, he's seen Kante go, I wonder if he was told in the background "just stay with us a little while longer and give us a bit more" but he hasn't got his move".

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