Riyad Mahrez says assumptions made about his recent absence from Leicester training were “completely untrue”.

The former PFA Player of the Year returned to training on Friday for the first time since the January transfer window closed.

Premier League leaders Manchester City had a bid for Mahrez turned down on deadline day and it had been suggested that was a factor in his recent absence, the forward having put in a transfer request at around the same time.

But Mahrez released a statement on Friday which read: “Over the past 10 days, many people claiming to be my friend have spoken about me and things they know nothing about.

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“Off the back of that many people and journalists have made assumptions without properly checking the story, so I would like to clarify that all those so-called assumptions of why I was absent are completely untrue.

Riyad Mahrez could be in line to face Manchester City on Saturday
Riyad Mahrez could be in line to face Manchester City on Saturday

“Myself nor my advisers have ever made any statements about that, so all presumptions made are totally without foundation.

“Leicester City were always aware of my whereabouts and had knowledge of my thinking either directly or via my advisers.

“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 and Leicester have enjoyed great success since his signing in 2014
Mahrez and Leicester have enjoyed great success since his signing in 2014

“My goals have always been the same and I have always given my full 100 per cent when I play for the club, the fans, and my team-mates.

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“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 is reportedly available for Saturday’s match against his recent suitors Manchester City, and has travelled with his team-mates.

But manager Claude Puel hinted on Thursday that Mahrez was unlikely to feature at the weekend, with a return to the squad for the FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Sheffield United on February 16 possibly more likely.

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