Riyad Mahrez could face Manchester City as Leicester star looks to make spectacular return after failed deadline day transfer

The Sun Lifestyle 7 months ago

RIYAD MAHREZ could be in line for a shock return at Manchester City today after making peace with Leicester.

The Algerian saw his dream move to the Etihad blocked by the Foxes on deadline day — and has been AWOL for ten days.

Riyad Mahrez could be in line for a shock Leicester return against Man City

Despite his unhappiness at the failed big-money move, the winger has vowed to give his all if selected by boss Claude Puel.

Mahrez, who was full of smiles as he returned to training yesterday said: “When I am asked to be a part of the Leicester team, rest assured I will continue to give my all.

"My goals have always been the same and I have always given 100 per cent for the club, the fans and my team-mates. Those goals remain the same today and in the future.”

Mahrez, who held club talks on Thursday, finally ended his exile after returning to the club’s Belvoir Drive training ground at 9am yesterday.

The winger tried and failed to orchestrate an Etihad switch on deadline day

He missed two Premier League games and six training sessions. But Mahrez insists Leicester chiefs had been fully “aware of my whereabouts and had knowledge of my thinking either directly or via my advisors”.

The 26-year-old arrived in a black luxury vehicle with blacked-out windows, using a refuse van as cover to stay away from prying cameras.

He trained with his team-mates without any sign of animosity or recrimination and was grinning through much of the session.

The playmaker completed his amazing U-turn when he boarded the Leicester team bus as they headed for their pre-match hotel.

Pep Guardiola remains keen on striking a big-money deal for Mahrez

Leicester’s French boss Puel is weighing up whether to pitch his rebel raider into the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the live TV showdown with the Prem leaders.

It is likely he could play a role from the substitutes’ bench at some stage this evening.

A statement from the club confirmed Mahrez’s about-turn, simply stating: “Riyad Mahrez has returned to training with the Leicester City squad.

“Riyad remains a greatly valued member of Claude Puel’s squad and is focused, together with his team-mates, on achieving further success with Leicester City.”

Claude Puel has previously revealed he was hoping to welcome Mahrez back as soon as possible

Etihad chief Pep Guardiola insisted it was not his responsibility that Mahrez went into hiding, after City turned their backs at Leicester’s £80million asking price plus winger Patrick Roberts.

The Spaniard said: “Me? I don’t think so. Leicester came to pick up Kelechi Iheanacho, we did it. In all transfers, the clubs call the clubs, it’s simple like that.

“After that we are not involved in anything. It’s a decision for the player and the club, not Manchester City.”

Some reports claim Guardiola has now dropped his interest in Mahrez because of his behaviour over the last fortnight.

But the ex-Barcelona boss said: “Sometimes if that happens with one player I will speak with him — but I’m not there. I don’t know the reality for the player or club.”

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