Mahrez still absent for Foxes

08 February 2018 10:12:26 EST

Forward Riyad Mahrez has yet to return to the fold with Leicester City and will not feature against the side who almost signed him recently, Manchester City.

Mahrez came close to joining the Citizens on transfer deadline day, only for the deal to fail to be completed due to reported disagreements over the fee involved.

I hope he can get his head right and come back with us and work hard.

Claude Puel

Since then Mahrez has been out of the picture for the Foxes and head coach Claude Puel accepts that there is no chance of the player lining up on Saturday against the club he had hoped to join.

He told reporters: "I think Riyad is not available for Saturday's game. I hope he can get his head right and come back with us and work hard. The best way is for him to come back and enjoy his football.

"He is a magnificent player and he enjoys his football. He loves his team-mates and that's important. He loves to touch the football, but he needs to come back right.

"I hope he can come back with a good attitude and prepared to work, but he will need time, and time to be match-fit.

"The most important thing for me is to keep Riyad and the club and the fans united and in a good way about this. It is important to keep a good feeling together through these difficulties."

Mahrez has not featured for Leicester since scoring in a 2-0 win over Watford on January 20th, since when the Foxes have earned just one point from Premier League games against Everton and Swansea City.

Leicester are available at 1/200 to finish in the top half of the table this season and are 1212/1 to have to settle for a place in the bottom half.

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