Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez has returned to the club’s training ground this morning, ending his self-imposed exile, Press Association Sport reports.
The Algerian was pictured arriving in a black people carrier at the club’s training ground on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after manager Claude Puel appealed to him to “get his head right” and return.
The 26-year-old Algeria international has not trained since a bid to sign him by Manchester City fell through on transfer deadline day. City wanted to pay £65 million for Mahrez, but Leicester wanted at least £95m.
Mahrez has scored eight goals in 24 league appearances this season but has protested Leicester’s decision to not grant his transfer request, causing him to miss Premier League games against Everton and Swansea City.
Manager Claude Puel dropped Mahrez from his squad for Saturday’s game against City at the Etihad Stadium and said that once he returns from training, he will need time to get fit again.
“I hope Riyad can get his head right and come back with us and work hard,” Puel said, speaking at his prematch news conference. “The best way is for him to come back and enjoy his football.
“He is a magnificent player and he enjoys his football. He loves his teammates and that’s important. He loves to touch the football but he needs to come back right. I hope he can come back with a good attitude and prepared to work, but he will need time, and time to be match-fit.”
It was the second time Mahrez has handed in a transfer request at Leicester after having also done so last summer, with the club then rejecting a bid from Roma. The former PFA Player of the Year cost Leicester £400,000 when he joined from Le Havre in January 2014.