Premier League

Claude Puel confident of keeping Mahrez at Leicester

The Foxes boss says the Algeria international is enjoying life at the club again and hopes he will reject advances from Arsenal aand Liverpool.

Puel confident of keeping Mahrez at Leicester

Claude Puel is confident Leicester City will keep hold of star attacker Riyad Mahrez through the January transfer window.

Mahrez, 26, is linked with a move away from the Premier League side, with Arsenal and Liverpool among those reportedly interested.

The Algeria international has recaptured some of his best form this season, scoring seven times and assisting seven in 23 league games.

And his manager Puel believes his club will retain Mahrez despite the reported interest from rivals.

Puel: "It's important for us to keep our best players"

"I have confidence in Riyad. We can see he is enjoying his football, we can see he is happy with his team-mates, and it's important for us to keep our best players," he told UK newspapers.

"We are in the transfer window and it's normal at that time for all the best players to be linked with transfers.

"But I'm not afraid about this because there's a fantastic spirit and good attitude in this squad and I think we saw that [in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea]."

Mahrez claimed the PFA Players' Player of the Year Award in 2015-16, when he helped Leicester to a fairytale title success.

Puel said the attacker was nearing his best once again and he expects it to continue.

"The good ambition for him is to continue this hard work, to show his consistency game after game, until the end of the season," he said.

"He has come back at a good level: he is clinical, with assists, with goals, and it's important he continues this work and shows people the player he is, without the ball [and] with it.

"He is making progress. It’s a good thing of course, [if] he continues all season with us."