Riyad Mahrez issues statement regarding Leicester absence as he prepares for return to Foxes squad

The Algerian spoke about going AWOL in his press release, and could return against Manchester City despite manager Claude Puel having previously ruled him out.

Riyad Mahrez issues statement regarding Leicester absence as he prepares for return to Foxes squad
Mahrez back in training (photo: Getty Images / Plumb Images)

Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez has released a statement speaking about his absence from training and matches since the start of February.

The winger told of how there's been what he believes to be inaccurate reporting over the last couple of weeks, whilst adding his commitment to the cause, having returned to training on Friday.

Mahrez had been absent from training for over a week after the Foxes rejected a late January move from Manchester City, who were looking to lure the Algerian in response to Leroy Sane's injury.

The 26-year-old was understandably keen to jump ship to the league leaders, but was made to stay put as Leicester rejected City's advances, despite receiving offers exceeding £50 million.

Having also wanted out of Leicester in the summer, Mahrez was unhappy not to have got a dream move and responded by failing to report for training, with the general consensus around the country being he had gone AWOL.

Missing but not AWOL

However, he's addressed those rumours in his statement, stating that Leicester knew of his whereabouts at all times.

“Leicester City were always aware of my whereabouts and had knowledge of my thinking either directly or via my advisors,” said Mahrez.

“Over the past ten days many people claiming to be my friend have spoken about me and things they know nothing about.

“Off the back of that many people and journalists have made assumptions without properly checking the story, so I would like to clarify that all those so-called assumptions of why I was absent are completely untrue."

Mahrez ready to give his all

​Mahrez has missed Leicester's last two league games, the Foxes failing to win either, but could now return against suitors City - despite manager Claude Puel having said earlier this week that he didn't expect to have his star man available.

He's travelled with the squad for the fixture and may now take a place on the bench, with his commitment not to be questioned if his statement reads true.

“My goals have always been the same and I have always given my full 100 per cent when I play for the club the fans and my teammates," Mahrez said.

“Those goals remain the same today and in the future and when I am asked to be a part of the Leicester team, rest assured I will continue to give my all.”