Wantaway Leicester midfielder Riyad Mahrez has denied walking out on the club this week, after failing to secure a move away from the King Power Stadium on transfer deadline day.
The Algerian has missed multiple training sessions and has been left out of Leicester's last two matchday squads after Manchester City saw offers rejected last month, but the player has now issued a statement declaring Leicester knew of his whereabouts. This comes in light of reports the player had gone AWOL.
City were reported to have made a number of bids for the player following an injury sustained by Leroy Sane, while both Arsenal and Liverpool have also been interested in the past. A new report from ESPN on Friday afternoon however states that Leicester "will not sell to an English club," and that if Mahrez is sold in the summer, it'll be to a club in another league.
Mahrez is still keen on leaving the club at the earliest opportunity, but it is thought that the Foxes will look to sell him - possibly for less than they could make from an English club - just to prevent a rival signing him. Roma came close to pulling off a deal last summer, but Leicester will now seek out other buyers in Italy, France, Germany or Spain.
The 26-year-old returned to the fold on Friday, rejoining his teammates for training ahead of their weekend fixture, ironically against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
In a statement released by the Leicester Mercury, Mahrez said: "Leicester City were always aware of my whereabouts and had knowledge of my thinking either directly or via my advisors.
“I have been a part of the Leicester City team that has achieved much success including promotion to the Premier League and being Champions of the League.
Mahrez has played a significant role in Leicester's success this season, lifting his side to eighth place in the Premier League with seven goals and 10 assists to his name. He went on to reiterate his desire to help his current employers achieve further success, promising full commitment to the cause.
“My goals have always been the same and I have always given my full 100 percent when I play for the club the fans and my teammates.
“Those goals remain the same today and in the future and when I am asked to be a part of the Leicester team, rest assured I will continue to give my all.”
Mahrez's statement mirrors the sentiments released by the club earlier today, which said the Algerian midfielder remained "focused, together with his teammates, on achieving further success with Leicester City."