Claude Puel Says Leicester Deserve More Respect After Riyad Mahrez Transfer Saga

Claude Puel believes Leicester should have been showed more respect by other teams
Claude Puel believes Leicester should have been showed more respect by other teams

Claude Puel says Leicester deserve to be shown more respect after almost losing Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City in January.

City attempted to lure Mahrez away from Leicester in the closing stages of the transfer window by submitting a final cash-plus-player offer worth an estimated £65m  for the Algerian, although Leicester refused to allow the winger to leave the King Power Stadium.

Mahrez submitted a formal transfer request in an attempt to push through a move to the Premier League leaders and subsequently failed to return to training after the potential deal collapsed.

However, Mahrez returned to the fold to face City on Saturday and Puel believes Pep Guardiola’s side should not have made a move for the 26-year-old with just 48 hours remaining in the January window.

“To make solicitation just one or two days before the end of the transfer window, I don’t know if it is normal,” said Puel.

Manchester City made a bid to sign Riyad Mahrez from the Foxes in January
Manchester City made a bid to sign Riyad Mahrez from the Foxes in January

“We don’t have a lot of players with the same quality like Riyad.

“For some other teams, it is not a difficulty to replace their players. We’re not a squad like some great teams at the top of the table. We need to manage better and we need also perhaps some respect from others.”

Puel is keen to draw a line under the affair and says Mahrez held clear-the-air talks with his team-mates after returning to training.

Puel believes Mahrez has become a better player since his self-imposed exile from the Leicester squad

“It was important Riyad gave his feeling in the dressing room,” said Puel. “It was important to keep united with the players and the team – this is the most important thing.

“He came with the squad at the weekend, he travelled with the squad, it was important for him that he came with us to stop this situation.

“The club, the players, the squad, the staff, tried to manage this situation with the best feeling. They welcomed him with a good feeling, now it is important to move on.”


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