Riyad Mahrez has been left out of Leicester City’s squad for the visit of Swansea City, with Claude Puel telling the Algerian to “clear his head” following the collapse of his prospective move to Manchester City.
Mahrez emerged as a late target for Pep Guardiola’s league leaders in January following an injury to Leroy Sane, with the two clubs entering negotiations as the deadline approached.
However, Leicester held firm and are said to have demanded £95million for the 26-year-old, leaving City to concede defeat in their pursuit.
As a result, Mahrez is now reported to have missed training four days in a row having not turned up on Friday, with Puel refusing to confirm whether he has permission or not.
But Puel did empathise with Mahrez’s situation and remains hopeful of him returning to action with Leicester once he has regained his focus, though Saturday will come too soon as the manager revealed the club has made the decision to make him unavailable for selection.
“As a club, we took this decision for the good of Leicester,” Puel told reporters at his pre-match news conference.
“I think it’s the best decision for the club after the position with Riyad. We need to respect this decision.
“It’s a tough situation for us to manage after this transfer window. His team-mates wait for Riyad to come back. They’re friends.
“I understand his disappointment. It was an opportunity for him. He plays for Leicester, he gives a lot of good things.
“He can also have a good ambition with us. Riyad, after some time, can come back with us.
“I hope he can clear his head and come back for us because he’s a valuable player for us, crucial in our play. We need to stay united after all this. I will assess him when he is back.”