Tuesday Jan 16, 2018. 11:30
Despite interest from Liverpool and Arsenal for the services of Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, manager Claude Puel says the Algerian is going nowhere.
The Reds are chasing Mahrez’s signature as replacement for Philippe Coutinho or Alexis Sánchez respectively, it seems he will stay at King Power Stadium.
The winger was granted leave from the Algerian squad on deadline day in August in anticipation of a possible move
“He has a fantastic influence on the team, a valuable player for the team,” said Puel told the Guardian.
“We can see he is enjoying his football and is happy with his team-mates and with us. It’s important for us to keep our best players.
“The good ambition for him is to continue this hard work, to show his consistency game after game, until the end of the season.
“He has come back at a good level: he is clinical, with assists, with goals, and it’s important he continues this work and shows people the player he is, without the ball and with it.
“He is making progress. It’s a good thing of course, [if] he continues all season with us.
“All the noise is just speculation. Of course we are in the transfer window and it’s normal for all the best players [to be linked with transfers], but I’m not afraid about this because there’s a fantastic spirit and good attitude in this squad.
“I have confidence in Riyad. We spoke a lot with him, about different things, and often about football, because he likes football a lot.
“He is now with good maturity, good experience of life, and we can see this in this game.”