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Mahrez must clear head before making Leicester return: Puel

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

By Staff Reporter

Claude Puel has said that Riyad Mahrez needs to "clear his head" before returning to the fray at Leicester City after failing to force through a late January transfer to Manchester City.

Mahrez will miss a second straight game for Leicester, Puel confirmed yesterday, after being subject to interest from Pep Guardiola's City.

The Algerian handed in a transfer request earlier this week - his second in the space of six months - as City attempted to prise him away from the Foxes for an alleged £65m.

The 26-year-old is said to have been left "disappointed" by Leicester's refusal to do business with City and has now missed the club's last three training sessions. Speaking ahead of Leicester's fixture against Swansea today, Puel said Mahrez will be assessed once he "clears his head".

"Riyad will not be available for this game," the Frenchman admitted. "I hope for Riyad he can clear his head and he can come back with us because he's a valuable player for us.

"It's a difficult situation. We have to manage this with calm. We cannot change the situation - the transfer window is finished.

"Like professionals, we have to keep our focus. His teammates wait for Riyad to come back. They're friends."

Puel added: "I understand his disappointment. It was an opportunity for him. He can also have a good ambition with us."

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