Leicester city winger had not trained with his team-mates since Leicester rejected a deal of around £50m from the Premier League leaders on deadline day. On Thursday, Claude Puel said on he would not pick Mahrez for Saturday's trip to Manchester City.
Mahrez made a transfer request the day before the January window closed but Leicester refused to let the 2016 PFA Player of the Year leave as their valuation of him exceeded the fee Manchester City were prepared to pay. Puel accepted his player had faced a “difficult situation” and vowed the club would “help him come back with a smile.”
Mahrez's international coach Rabah Madjer said the player “deserves better than Leicester”, but former England striker Chris Sutton was critical of the player's reaction to his move collapsing. “He's a big baby isn't he? Leicester has put him on the map,” Sutton told BBC Radio 5 live. “If I was one of his team-mates, I'd be deeply unhappy with him.” Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy believes Mahrez will leave the club this summer, saying “He's outgrown Leicester. He's a Champions League player.” Since Mahrez last played, Leicester have beaten Peterborough in the FA Cup but followed that win with a defeat at Everton and a home draw with Swansea in the Premier League.
In total, Mahrez has scored 44 goals in 165 games since joining Leicester for £400,000 from French side Le Harve in January 2014.