Riyad Mahrez has pleaded with Leicester to let him leave this summer - as Manchester City prepare to end their interest in the Foxes star.
Mahrez has been absent from training for over a week after feeling 'depressed' over Leicester's decision not to sanction a £65m switch to the Etihad in the final few days of the transfer window.
That has led to a report from the Times alleging that Mahrez wants assurances from manager Claude Puel and his club's hierarchy to allow him to depart the King Power stadium in the off season if a suitable bid is made.
However, in further complicated matters, City appear to have scrapped their interest in the Algeria international with the Mirror reporting that Pep Guardiola is unwilling to pay Leicester's monstrous asking price of £95m for their star attacker.
Mahrez's self-imposed exile from the Premier League side came about after he caught wind of Leicester rejecting City's opening salvo for his signature, and he has missed matches against Everton and Swansea City as a result.
Puel is preparing to, ironically, face Manchester City this weekend with his Leicester squad despite Mahrez's situation casting a long shadow over the Midlands outfit but has no idea if the forward will return to the senior fold anytime soon.
Can’t compare on fee or wages. But some parallels relatively. Kristian Dennis, denied move to Bradford City from Chesterfield, turns up & plays on. Riyad Mahrez downs tools at Leicester after no-go to Man City. Who’s the pro & a credit to the game?— Alan Biggs (@AlanBiggs1) February 8, 2018
(You may also be interested in Leicester City Rejected Yaya Toure as Part of Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez Negotiations)
The PFA have attempted to broke a compromise deal between the two parties in a bid to end the stand off, with talk of Leicester inserting a release clause fee into Mahrez's contract the main topic of conversation.
PFA chief Gordon Taylor even went as far as to say that Mahrez 'wouldn't be paid' if he didn't end his strike action.
He told talkSPORT: “It’s about practicalities. If he’s not in at the club he won’t be paid. We’re ready to act if we’re called in. We offered our services last week to the club but I’ve not heard anything back.”
Guardiola was thought to want to sign Mahrez after he was denied Leroy Sane's services for an extended period of time due to an ankle injury, but the Spaniard's interest in Mahrez has cooled over the past seven days.
That is thought to be down to the ex-Le Havre starlet's decision to go on strike and, in doing so, he has left Mahrez in limbo, and the winger would do well to try and work his way back into the Leicester set up given that his deal at the club runs for another two-and-a-half years.
Mahrez has submitted two transfer requests in the past two windows and it remains to be seen how much longer he has left with the Foxes.