Tag: Leicester City

Claude Puel: Riyad Mahrez not available against Manchester City

Claude Puel has said Riyad Mahrez will maintain his self-imposed exile not play for Leicester at Manchester City on Saturday.

Mahrez, 26, has not trained or played since a move to the Etihad Stadium fell through on deadline day of the January transfer window.

The Algerian international, who scored 35 goals and contributed 24 assists in 127 top-flight appearances, has handed in a transfer request but the Foxes had refused to hear any interest in the player before the transfer deadline.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Puel said that he believes that Mahrez, who he describes as “magnificent” will remain unavailable.

“I think Riyad is not available for Saturday’s game. I hope Riyad can get his head right and come back with us and work hard. The best way is for him to come back and enjoy his football.”

“He is a magnificent player and he enjoys his football. He loves his team-mates, and that’s important. He loves to touch the football but he needs to come back right. I hope he can come back with a good attitude and prepared to work, but he will need time and time to be match-fit.”

“It’s important this remains inside the club and private, not in the public,” Puel added. “The most important thing for me is to keep Riyad and the club and the fans united and in a good way about this. It is important to keep a good feeling together through these difficulties.”

On the other hand, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has suggested that Manchester City would keep tabs on the forward despite Leicester having being ununderstood to have been demanding as much £95m as a bare minimum.

Prediction:

Manchester City 3 – 1 Leicester City

Pep Guardiola: City to keep tabs on Riyad Mahrez availability into summer

Pep Guardiola has suggested that Manchester City will go back in for Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez over the summer after the Premier League leaders missed out on a deal as the deadline passed with January.

Mahrez has spent much of the last two windows attempting to leave the King Power Stadium, with transfer requests being tabled by the want-away 26-year-old.

However, Leicester’s demands and reluctance to sell have seen the unsettled star blocked from heading for the exits, with City being the latest side to have been left frustrated after having mounted a late winter bid to land the 2016 PFA Player of the Year.

Nonetheless, City coach Pep Guardiola believes that his club is prepared to rekindle their interest of the player at the end of the season.

“He’s a Leicester player,” the former Barca and Bayern Munich coach said. “Everybody knows we were trying but we cannot afford, in this moment, this amount of what they are asking. I understand perfectly.”

“We tried to do it in the summertime, we tried to do it now, but like summer, they locked the door. It was not possible. With [Aymeric] Laporte, yes, with the other one, no. We are going to see what happens in the summer.”

City’s interest as the deadline ends led the Foxes star to hand in his latest transfer request, but Leicester refused to budge despite the Manchester’s club willingness to go as high as £65m in their pursuit of another creative influence.

Leicester are understood to have been demanding as much £95m .

As a result of the failed negotiations, no deal was done and Guardiola was unable to bring in cover for Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus during their respective injury-enforced spells on the sidelines.

Leicester City sacks Craig Shakespeare after poor start to season

Leicester City has sacked their manager Craig Shakespeare, who was only four months into a three-year contract.  

Shakespeare’s record as manager for Leicester reads 1 win, 3 draws and 4 defeats after eight games — and had remained third bottom in the Premier League table for several consecutive weeks.

While the Foxes had difficult fixtures in that period against the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool which hardly helped Shakepeare’s tenure, it was clear that Leicester’s owners still expected more than only one league victory at this stage.

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, the club’s vice-chairman, said: “Craig has been a great servant to Leicester City — during his spells as an assistant manager and since taking over as manager in challenging circumstances in February. His dedication to the club and to his work has been absolute and the contribution he made to the most successful period in Leicester City history is considerable.”

“However, our early promise under Craig’s management has not been consistently evident in the months since and the board feels that, regrettably, a change is necessary to keep the club moving forward — consistent with the long-term expectations of our supporters, board and owners.”

Jon Rudkin, Leicester’s director of football, informed Shakespeare of the news at the club’s training ground, where the 53-year-old had overseen a friendly match against a Nottingham Forest side earlier in the day.

Michael Appleton, Shakespeare’s assistant, has been asked to take charge of the team for Saturday’s game at Swansea as the Leicester City board of directors puts together a shortlist with a view to making an appointment as soon as possible.

Leicester has also remained tight-lipped other than to categorically rule out the prospect of Nigel Pearson returning to the club. Pearson was recently appointed head coach of OH Leuven, the second-tier Belgian side owned by the Srivaddhanaprabha family, who also control Leicester.