June 18, 2018

Manchester City respond to 'disrespect' claims from Leicester boss over Mahrez pursuit

15 February 2018, 08:13 | Joan Schultz

Puel says club captain Wes Morgan could feature against Sheffield United on Friday

Puel says club captain Wes Morgan could feature against Sheffield United on Friday

Mahrez, 26, returned to training last week for the first time since handing in a transfer request last month, with local media reporting he was absent because he was "depressed" after Leicester rejected Manchester City's deadline day bid to sign him.

Foxes boss Claude Puel came out yesterday, indirectly accusing the Blues of disrespect in trying to prise away Leicester's star player.

Captain Wes Morgan could be back in the Leicester squad after recovering from the hamstring injury that has kept him out since the turn of the year.

Mahrez could start Friday's FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Sheffield United, with Puel vowing to pick a strong team against the Championship side.

As reported by the Manchester Evening News, the Citizen's sporting director Txiki Begiristain has argued that he began negotiations with Leicester for the Algerian ace a week before the transfer deadline - not the one or two day period that Puel had previously claimed.

He told reporters on a protracted saga: "We don't have a lot of players with the game quality as Riyad". I can't suffer this situation.

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"We need perhaps some others' respect", Puel said of Manchester City's approach for Mahrez at a press conference on Wednesday.

"The game against Sheffield United will be tough, they are a good team".

"We're not a squad like some great teams at the top of the table".

"It was important to stay united within the club, the fans, the players, among themselves".

And Puel says he has been accepted back with open arms after explaining himself to his team-mates.

"They welcomed him with a good feeling, now it's important to move on". "It was important for me and for the player, to stop the last situation".

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