Riyad Mahrez: Leicester will 'help' winger after Man City walk away from potential deal

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Leicester will help Riyad Mahrez "come back with a smile" after his proposed move to Manchester City fell through, says Foxes manager Claude Puel.

The Premier League leaders walked away from a potential deal because the transfer package would have cost £95m.

Algeria international Mahrez, 26, handed in a transfer request on Tuesday and missed Leicester's Premier League defeat by Everton on Wednesday.

"It was a difficult situation for Riyad," said Puel.

"I hope he can come back with a smile and with desire and happy to play with his team-mates.

"There is perhaps disappointment for Riyad but I think all the players, all the squad will help him to come back."

It was reportedexternal-link Mahrez did not train with his team-mates on Tuesday, and Puel said it had been difficult for the winger to "control his emotions" about the potential move.

"For some days it will be tough but it's important he stays with us and I hope he can come back with all his quality and the fantastic player he is," added Puel.

Mahrez joined Leicester in January 2014 and was named PFA Players' Player of the Year as the Foxes won the Premier League in 2016.

He has scored 35 goals and contributed 24 assists in 127 top-flight appearances.

Leicester proposed a player-plus-cash deal, but Manchester City were not willing to spend more than £60m.

After the Premier League leaders' 3-0 win over West Brom, manager Pep Guardiola confirmed the club "had an offer" in for Mahrez.

"The clubs and the managers of the players decide they want more," said the Spaniard.

"After that, the deal is done sometimes, other times not. If not, it is not a problem. I admire the club for having parameters because they would be broke.

"Maybe in the future we are able to buy one player for £100m or something like that. Maybe it is going to happen.

"But if it happens it will be for a special, special player. At the moment we cannot afford that."

Manchester City, who want an attacking player in the summer, ended their pursuit of Alexis Sanchez earlier in January because of the cost of the deal.

Chile forward Sanchez left Arsenal to join Manchester United in a swap deal with midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Manchester City's interest in Mahrez was not a response to winger Leroy Sane being ruled out for seven weeks with ankle ligament damage.

They broke their transfer deadline on Tuesday to sign French defender Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for a club record £57m.


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