We will help Mahrez ‘come back with a smile’ says Claude Puel

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Despite handing in a transfer request, the Algeria international failed to leave the Foxes at the close of the January transfer window

Leicester City manager, Claude Puel is confident that Riyad Mahrez will be helped to return to King Power Stadium with ‘a smile.’

The 26-year-old witnessed another nightmare as his attempt to join Manchester City fell aside after Leicester failed to agree on a fee for the forward with the Etihad Stadium outfit.

Last summer, the winger also made several attempts to force his way out of the club but was rebuffed.

And, although the French tactician acknowledged the disappointment of the former Le Havre player, he is optimistic that his teammates and the members of staff will help him overcome the frustration.

“All the players, all the staff, will help him to come back with a smile, to enjoy his football with his team-mates because he is a great player, fantastic, a good man and he likes football,” Puel told Leicester Mercury.

“Of course, for the moment, I did not speak with Riyad but perhaps there is a lot of disappointment.

“We will see when we can manage all this for the future.

“I think the players know it will be difficult sometimes for Riyad and we have a fantastic group, squad, all the players have a fantastic relationship and understanding between themselves.

“All the players will give their best for Riyad.

“We know the situation. We can understand his reaction. It is a difficult situation for him and the club.

“We received something at the last moment and it was harsh for us. It was difficult also for Riyad and we have to understand all the parts: for me, for the squad, for the player.

“We will accept all the decisions. It was a decision between two clubs. Of course, I have all confidence about the owner to take a good decision about Riyad for the future.

“After, we will see with Riyad when he can come back with us.”

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Without the Algerian, Leicester lost 2-1 to Everton in Wednesday’s top-flight encounter at Goodison Park.

“We didn’t look for excuses about the result tonight,” he added.

“We had all the ingredients to play a good game and to give a good response together. It was not enough tonight. We have to put this right for the next game.”

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