Claude Puel hopeful Riyad Mahrez can return to Leicester 'with a smile'
Last Updated: 02/02/18 9:45pm
Claude Puel hopes Riyad Mahrez returns to Leicester's first-team squad "with a smile" after failing to earn a Deadline Day move to Manchester City.
Mahrez handed in a transfer request on Tuesday but failed to secure a move away from the King Power Stadium on deadline day after the Premier League leaders baulked at Leicester's £80m valuation.
Sky Sports News has been told by a friend of Mahrez that the winger is "depressed" that a transfer failed to materialise, but Puel hopes he can be reintegrated back into the fold after missing Leicester's 2-1 loss to Everton.
"It's good news and we will see with Mahrez," Puel said. "We will see, but the most important thing is to keep my focus with the others and we will see with Riyad.
"It's of course always a difficult situation and we will have to manage this situation with Riyad and I hope he can come back quickly with us and with a smile and happy to play with us."
Puel admits his players "lost control" during the first half of his side's setback at Everton, which leaves them in eighth place.
The Foxes succumbed to their first loss of 2018 after Theo Walcott scored twice during a 14-minute period that ultimately decided the outcome of the game.
Jamie Vardy reduced the deficit with a well-taken penalty with 19 minutes remaining before Kelechi Iheanacho hit the woodwork twice in a frantic finale, but Puel was left to rue his side's errors prior to the break on Merseyside.
The Frenchman added: "We made a good start with a good balance of the team. After the first goal, we lost control and Everton put us under pressure and we didn't give a good response.
"We conceded a second goal after another mistake. In the first half we gave away the match but we need to show concentration game after game as every match is tough in the Premier League.
"We played well in the second-half and we finished with strong quality but without reward in the end. I thought we deserved the draw, but it's a good lesson for the future."
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