'Depressed' Mahrez to miss City clash

2018-02-09 04:37:25

Manchester City may not have signed Riyad Mahrez on transfer deadline day, but they seem to have prevented the Leicester City attacker from facing them this weekend regardless.

The Foxes are prepared to take their time reintegrating the "depressed" Algerian back into the team.

It is understood the Algeria international missed training on Tuesday after failing to land a deadline day move to Manchester City last month.

The 2016 Premier League champions travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday with Mahrez now expected to miss the game, having sat out the last two matches.

They will hold talks with Mahrez's representatives but will not rush the former PFA Player of the Year back.

A "close friend" of Mahrez has been quoted saying the winger was depressed after the failed move and it has changed the dynamic of discussions.

Leicester need to be cautious with how they deal with the issue surrounding Mahrez's health.

Mahrez wanted to leave the King Power Stadium last month, handing in another transfer request following an initial one in the summer.

Leicester stood firm on their valuation though and eventually asked Manchester City for £80m cash. City's final offer was £50m plus an unnamed player who they valued at £15million.

Mahrez has scored eight league goals this season

Philippe Coutinho's £142m move to Barcelona from Liverpool and the fact City had just spent £57m on defender Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao stiffened Leicester's resolve.

Mahrez also only signed an improved four-year deal in 2016 after helping the Foxes, under Claudio Ranieri, to a shock Premier League title.

He stayed for their Champions League campaign, where they reached the quarter-finals, but now wants to leave.

Mahrez has missed the 2-1 defeat to Everton and last weekend's 1-1 draw with Swansea.

Boss Claude Puel has remained tight-lipped over the saga and hinted he is happy to prepare for games without the 26-year-old.

He said: "Riyad is not my preoccupation. My preoccupation is about my available players and to keep them in a positive attitude and to continue this good work.

"My only feelings are about my available players and as for Riyad we will see later."

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