Riyad Mahrez returns to Leicester’s training ground
The winger has not trained with his team-mates since the transfer window closed in January.
Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez has ended his self-imposed exile by returning to the club’s training ground this morning, Press Association Sport understands.
The 26-year-old has not trained with his team-mates since Manchester City launched a bid to sign him at the end of the January transfer window.
The Foxes blocked what would have been a dream move to the Premier League leaders for Mahrez, and he has subsequently missed the games against Everton and Swansea.
Reports claim Mahrez has made himself available for Leicester match on Saturday, which ironically is against Manchester City, but at his press conference on Thursday manager Claude Puel said the Algerian would not be involved.
Puel refused to give any indication whether he had spoken to Mahrez since his absence began on January 30, whether he knew the whereabouts of the player, or if he could put a date on a return, with club officials stressing that keeping details confidential is paramount in adhering to employment law.
However, the Leicester boss did say that he hoped to have Mahrez back in contention as soon as possible, hinting that he may need to work on his fitness first. Mahrez has not played since January 20.
“I hope he can come back with a good attitude very soon, this is the best solution,” said Puel. “I hope he comes back and works hard, but he will need time. And time to be match fit.”
A return to the squad for the FA Cup fifth round tie at home to Sheffield United on February 16 is possible.
Man City enquired about Mahrez but baulked at Leicester's £95m valuation. They were only prepared to pay £60m, so walked away. Never made a formal bid #MCFC— Andy Hampson (@andyhampson) January 31, 2018
Mahrez handed in a transfer request in order to try and force a move to Manchester City. It was his second attempt at trying to leave the King Power Stadium after also handing in a transfer request at the end of the 2016-17 season, with Leicester then rejecting a bid from Roma.
The former PFA Player of the Year, who cost Leicester £400,000 in January 2014, has scored eight goals and has seven assists this season.
Leicester have not won a Premier League game in his absence and travel to the Etihad to face City on Saturday.