By 90Min
February 17, 2018

Pep Guardiola has come out in full defence of how Manchester City conducted themselves in their controversial pursuit of Riyad Mahrez, after the club were the target of the Leicester manager Claude Puel's criticism. 

The league leaders were at the forefront of the January window drama as City's move for Mahrez spectacularly collapsed on deadline day to leave the Leicester winger unsettled; which saw him declare himself unfit for 10-days. 

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Puel was angered by City's lack of respect due to the timing of their pursuit as 48 hours prior to the deadline left the Foxes with little time to find a replacement, with a failed £65m bid leading to 26-year-old Mahrez having his dreams of a move to the Etihad Stadium crushed. 


The knock-on effect saw the Algerian international refuse to return to the club in the ten days following, but City have maintained their stance that their approach and negotiation was above board for the entirety of the window.

While Guardiola was resistant to get himself involved in the issue the Spaniard was not about to let City's reputation take a hit as a result. 

"I think the club made a statement and it was so clear what happened,” said Guardiola, via the Telegraph

“The club made a statement and always tries to do the best for us, and of course respecting the opponents."

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Mahrez had been identified as a target in the winter window due to the unfolding injury crisis Guardiola was experiencing in his forward ranks, but the City boss has been boosted by Leroy Sane's return to first team action and Gabriel Jesus's return to full training for the first time in 2018.

Guardiola added on Jesus: “Today he [Jesus] is going to play in part of the session with the group. It’s good news.

"I don't know when he'll be ready definitely to be with us, with the team, but the first step is they made one or two weeks training alone and today is the first with the team.”

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