Leicester City manager Claude Puel has given an update on the self-exiled talisman Riyad Mahrez, confirming that the Algerian will not play in Saturday's clash with January suitors Manchester City.
Important that he comes back
Mahrez has once again become vital to The Foxes after somewhat of a second season slump, despite interest from clubs in the summer the Algerian has returned and proved crucial in helping Puel's side into eighth having initially struggled under former coach Craig Shakespeare.
The 26-year-old's talents have not gone unnoticed with Pep Guardiola sniffing around the winger on the final day of the transfer window, with Leicester reported to have rejected a big money bid from The Citizens.
Since deadline day Mahrez has gone AWOL having refused to train with the side since, Saturday brings around a trip to The Etihad Stadium and Puel confirmed that Mahrez would take no part but stated that it is "important" he comes back into the fold.
"I think Riyad will be not available for the Saturday game against Manchester City," Peul confirmed to his pre-match press conference. "I hope he can get his head right and come back with us and work hard."
"The best way is to come back and enjoy his football," the manager stated to the gathered press. "Riyad is a magnificent player."
"He loves football, he loves his relationship with his team-mates, he enjoys his football," the Frenchman admitted. "I think he needs to come back, to play and touch the ball."
"He loves his football," Puel added. "It is important he comes back."
A chance to cause an upset
This will be the third occasion that the two sides have met in the current campaign, having been defeated 2-0 in the reverse fixture at the King Power Stadium Leicester managed to take it the distance in the Carabao Cup only to be defeated on penalties.
Puel will have been disappointed with some of the recent form with a defeat to Everton and a draw with a rejuvenated Swansea in the last two matches, but the Frenchman insisted that his side could pull off a upset at Eastlands.
"It is a good challenge. A fantastic and exciting challenge," he said on Saturday's clash. "We have no pressure against this team, they are the favourites,"
"It is a good challenge to play our football. Of course it is difficult against this team," the coach insisted. "To show if we have improved from our last game against this team."
"In the Premier League game against them it was difficult, the sending off after three minutes changed the game," the 56-year-old stated. "The second round in the cup was a good game until the lottery of penalties. It was a good response."
"Now, away," Puel concluded. "We can show our progress against this team."