Puel Puts To Rest Mahrez’ January Exit Speculations

Leicester City manager Claude Puel has confirmed that Riyad Mahrez will not be leaving the club in January.

Mahrez, who has been in renascent form since the arrival of Puel, has been numerously linked to a number of Premier League clubs including Arsenal and Liverpool who have both lost key players this month. Liverpool lost Philipe Coutinho to Barcelona while Alexis Sanchez is set to part ways with the Gunners this week.

Asked about Mahrez, Puel said: “It’s not a question in our mind. 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.

“He has a fantastic influence on the team, a valuable player for the team. 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 [that] he continues all season with us.”

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