Southampton's Ryan Bertrand (left) and Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez battle for the ball during the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 13, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Southampton. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Wednesday Feb 14, 2018. 09:00
Leicester City coach Claude Puel says Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez erred on his self-imposed exile from the club after his move to Manchester City failed to materialise last month.
Mahrez was the subject of a £60 million offer from Pep Guardiola's side, but returned to training on Friday for the first time since he handed in a transfer request on the penultimate day of the January transfer window.
Mahrez missed two league fixtures during his absence, but was available in their 5-1 defeat to the league leaders at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.
"I think since the beginning of the situation it was tough to manage, but all the time we kept united about this situation and about Riyad," Puel was quoted by the Leicester Mercury.
"That was the most important thing. Sometimes some players can make a mistake. It was the first time for him and it was a mistake but the most important thing is to look forward and put it right.
"He is fantastic player for us, his team-mates and the fans. It is a pleasure to watch him... It is important we continue together."
The 26-year-old released a statement which described assumptions about his absence as "completely untrue" and said his club were always aware of his whereabouts.