Puel draws a line under saga

13 February 2018 04:23:16 EST

Claude Puel has forgiven Riyad Mahrez and believes the Algeria international can help Leicester City enjoy a fine end to the season.

Mahrez was keen to move to Manchester City in January but the Foxes rejected an offer from the Premier League leaders, believed to be in the region of £60million, plus a player, for the talented midfielder.

Mahrez missed Leicester's 2-1 defeat at Everton and the 1-1 draw with Swansea City but released a statement denying rumours that he had gone on strike in protest against his blocked move.

He came off the bench on Saturday evening as Leicester lost 5-1 at Manchester City and Puel is now willing to reintegrate Mahrez back into his starting line-up.

"I think since the beginning of the situation it was tough to manage, but all the time we kept united about this situation and about Riyad," said the former Southampton boss.

"That was the most important thing. Sometimes some players can make a mistake. It was the first time for him and it was a mistake but the most important thing is to look forward and put it right.

"He is a fantastic player for us, his team-mates and the fans. It is a pleasure to watch him. It is important we continue together."

Leicester are 1/20 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season and 2/5 to beat Sheffield United in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Friday. Mahrez is 2/1 to score at any time against the Blades, who are 9/1 to be promoted from the Championship this term.

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