Leicester determined to keep Mahrez from Liverpool and Arsenal, insists Puel

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Riyad Mahrez Leicester City
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The Algeria international has been linked with the Reds and the Gunners, but the Foxes manager is confident of keeping the Algerian winger

Leicester City are committed to keeping Riyad Mahrez at the club beyond the January transfer window, according to manager Claude Puel.

The Algeria international, a key member of the Foxes' title-winning side of 2015-16, has been in a rich vein of form recently, directly contributing to eight goals - five goals, three assists - in his last 10 Premier League appearances.

Mahrez's contract runs until 2020, but he has been linked with both Liverpool and Arsenal in recent weeks. Both clubs are looking to replace departed, or departing, stars, with Philippe Coutinho having joined Barcelona and Alexis Sanchez set to move to Manchester United ahead of Manchester City.

However, Puel is committed to retaining Mahrez's services, and believes the Algeria international is "enjoying his football" at the King Power Stadium.

“He has a fantastic influence on the team, a valuable player for the team,” Puel said, per The Guardian. “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, with it. He is making progress. It’s a good thing of course, (if) he continues all season with us.”

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Mahrez has not yet made any moves to agitate for a transfer, and Puel is unworried about the prospect of him doing so.

“It’s not a question in our mind. All the noise is just speculation," he added. "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.”