Claude Puel expects 'good man' Riyad Mahrez to be welcomed back by Leicester squad
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 02/02/18 10:53pm
Leicester boss Claude Puel believes Riyad Mahrez will be welcomed back by his team-mates despite his failed bid to join Manchester City.
Mahrez handed in a transfer request in a bid to push through a move to the Eithad on Deadline Day, and has not reported for training with the Foxes since the end of the January window.
Sky Sports News understands Mahrez has been left "depressed" by Leicester's decision not to accept City's final player-plus-cash offer worth an estimated £65m.
Puel insists it is only a matter of time before Mahrez, who still has two-and-a-half years left on his contract at the King Power Stadium, returns to training and begins to "enjoy his football" again.
"After some time, he will come back with us," the Frenchman said. "He is our friend and I think all the staff and all the players will help him to come back with a good mentality and a positive attitude and to enjoy his football with his team-mates.
"Riyad is a good player but he is a good man also. I respect him. It's important to manage this with calm inside the club.
"We have a good relationship. (On Friday morning) I have seen my players with a good focus and with smiles and enjoying their training session. I hope there is a good solution.
"All the staff, especially all the squad, they are his friends. Of course, no problem when he will come back with us, with a good feeling for all the people."
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