English Premiership

Mahrez refuses to squash exit rumours

Riyad Mahrez (Gallo Images)
Riyad Mahrez (Gallo Images)

United Kingdom - Leicester City playmaker Riyad Mahrez regrets the way he handled a failed move to Premier League leaders Manchester City during the January transfer window, but said he did not struggle to reintegrate himself back into the squad.

Mahrez missed two matches and six training sessions after Leicester rejected City's bid to sign the Algeria international on deadline day. British media reports described his absence during that period as a protest.

The 27-year-old returned to action for Leicester in a 5-1 defeat by City last month and scored a dramatic late equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last weekend.

"You'll always have regrets but at that time I thought it was the best thing to do," Mahrez told Sky Sports. "I was away because I needed time to think, it was a difficult situation.

"The club handled it very well. When the teammates and the club were behind me it was OK, it was easy to come back here.

"Manchester City is a good move for everyone but it is the past. It is behind me. If we start talking about this it's like coming back to the transfer window and now I'm moving forward, trying to give my best for the team," he added.

Leicester are eighth in the table with 37 points and visit bottom club West Bromwich Albion in the league on Saturday.