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Shakespeare hoping 'wanted and appreciated' Mahrez remains a Leicester player


Riyad Mahrez has been linked with a move away from Leicester

Riyad Mahrez has been linked with a move away from Leicester

Riyad Mahrez has been linked with a move away from Leicester

Craig Shakespeare wants to show Riyad Mahrez how much Leicester value him but insists he will not "pander" to anybody as transfer speculation begins to crank up.

Mahrez was PFA player of the year in the Foxes' unforgettable Premier League title win last season but, like the team as a whole, has failed to hit the same heights this term.

Nevertheless the Algerian is still likely to be a regular in the gossip columns over the summer and without European football to offer, Leicester may struggle to hang to such an asset.

Shakespeare is still waiting to hear if he will be in charge of the side beyond the end of the campaign but is planning for the future and wants Mahrez to be part of it.

"We don't need to pander to everybody's needs but they need to know they are wanted at a football club and appreciated," said Shakespeare after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

"Riyad is one of many who, if you ask him, feels appreciated and wanted here, not only by the coaching staff and the owners and the fans but also by the players as well.

"They are under contract with us. Everything else is pure speculation. You don't have a decision to make unless you get an offer, and we haven't had an offer for any one of our players.

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"There is always going to be speculation because they are good players."

Shakespeare revealed that the 26-year-old has viewed his own efforts harshly at times during the Foxes' disappointing title defence, but said those at the club never doubted him.

"You have to support them when they go through these little moments of self doubt," he explained.

"With Rihyad, he's probably more self-critical than anybody realises. There are moments this season when he's found it difficult to get the form that he showed last season. But he's showed glimpses of it and we have to show that we believe in him.

"He has that belief from us and that will turn."

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