Claudio Ranieri urges Leicester's Riyad Mahrez to ignore transfer talk

Riyad Mahrez has been on top form this season for Leicester
Image: Riyad Mahrez's form has seen him linked with giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona

Claudio Ranieri will have no hesitation in benching Riyad Mahrez if the Leicester City star begins to get carried away by transfer speculation.

Mahrez has been one of the main catalysts in Leicester hitting top spot in the Premier League heading into the final third of the 2015-16 season.

But his impressive season - Mahrez has already scored 16 goals - has seen the Algeria international linked with a host of top clubs across Europe, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Although Mahrez signed a contract extension until 2019 at the start of the season, speculation about his future has continued and Ranieri is keen that he ignores as much of it as possible.

"If Riyad plays well he continues to play. If he thinks about other teams he comes with me on the bench," the Italian said.

"If I am Riyad I say: 'There are a lot of teams who want me, OK, I have to show more if I want to go there. I have to show my best, because if I should do my best maybe they want to buy me.'

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri says their next five games will be key to their hopes of winning the Premier League

"We want to keep all our players. We believe in them. But if a player comes to me and says: 'Boss, I want to go there because it's my ambition to go there.' I'll say: 'Go and enjoy and have good luck.'

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"Because I only want players who are happy to stay here, because sooner or later we grow up a lot. Of course, not like Barcelona or Real Madrid, but Leicester will be a very good team."

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