In Brief

Riyad Mahrez goes awol after Man City transfer flops

Leicester are reportedly taking legal advice as £95m player refuses to show up for training

A Fox is on the loose in Leicester, with media reports that Riyad Mahrez has not been seen for a second successive day at the club’s training ground.

According to Sky Sports, the Algerian winger was a no-show on Wednesday and Thursday, after a deadline day move to Manchester City failed to materialise.

Mahrez submitted a transfer request at the start of the week, and was initially linked to Arsenal, before City became the front runners for his signature.  Mahrez “was the subject of multiple offers from the Premier League leaders”, says the news website, “with the last of those understood to be a player-plus-cash offer worth an estimated £65m”.

That was some way short of the £95m that the Foxs wanted, however, and talks broke down on Wednesday. Sky claims Mahrez is “depressed” about Leicester’s decision not to accept City’s final bid, and has informed his club that “he is not strong enough to play football at the moment”.

Leicester manager Claude Puel is maintaining an upbeat tone about the standoff. “It’s of course always a difficult situation and we will have to manage this situation with Riyad,” Puel said. “I hope he can come back quickly with us, and with a smile and happy to play with us.”

But according to The Sun, the Foxes are privately furious with their angst-ridden Algerian star and “have taken legal advice on how they now try and reintegrate their £95million-rated asset back into their squad”.

A source close to the player reportedly told Sky Sports: “Joining Manchester City would have been a dream for him. Playing for Pep Guardiola is something he is still desperate to do. That seems a long way off right now. He’s very down about how he’s been treated by a club he has served so well.”

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