Rebellious Algeria star Riyad Mahrez to miss Leicester City’s clash with Swansea

Riyad Mahrez saw a move to Manchester City fall through. (Reuters)
Updated 02 February 2018

Rebellious Algeria star Riyad Mahrez to miss Leicester City’s clash with Swansea

LONDON: Riyad Mahrez will not be included in Leicester City boss Claude Puel’s squad for the visit of Swansea City as the Algerian’s standoff with the Foxes for their refusal to entertain a deadline day bid from Manchester City rumbles on.
Mahrez has not trained since City’s withdrew their interest on Wednesday’s due to Leicester’s demands.
“Riyad is not available for this game,” Puel told a news conference on Friday.
“All I can say about the situation is that this is the best decision for Leicester, in the best interests of Leicester. It is also the best decision for Riyad.
“It is a tough situation for us to manage but now it is time to move on and keep our focus.”
It is not the first time that Mahrez, who played a huge role in inspiring Leicester’s remarkable 2015/16 Premier League triumph, has tried to force his way out at the King Power.
However, Puel is hopeful the 26-year-old can return for the remainder of the season having also played a big part in Leicester’s upturn in fortunes since the French coach replaced Craig Shakespeare in October.
“I hope he can come back with us. He is an important player for us, of course,” added Puel.
“He can come back to the team and we need to stay united. It is difficult to manage but it will stay inside the club. We need to move forward and focus on football.
“We can’t change anything about the situation. We needs to find again a good feeling and help him come back with a positive attitude to enjoy his football.”
Reports suggest City were willing to offer £50 million ($71 million) plus a player they valued at £15 million to land Mahrez.
But the Foxes asking price was closer to £80 million cash which the Premier League leaders were not willing to pay.
Mahrez joined Leicester for just £350,000 from French side Le Havre in 2014.


LIVE: Clash on the Dunes - Andy Ruiz Jr. vs Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia

Updated 7 min 19 sec ago

LIVE: Clash on the Dunes - Andy Ruiz Jr. vs Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia

  • Full coverage of huge night of boxing - including undercard
  • World heavyweight championship being held in Diriyah, Riyadh

RIYADH: The day has finally arrived - the eyes of the sporting world turn toward Saudi Arabia this evening for the highly anticipated rematch between world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and challenger Anthony Joshua who face each other in Diriyah in the ‘Clash on the Dunes’ – the biggest sporting event ever held in the Kingdom, and a night that could rival the historic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and ‘Thrilla in Manila’ fights.

Stay tuned throughout the day for Arab News coverage below. (All times KSA)

19:45 - FIGHT ACTION: He's done it! Saudi Arabia's Zuhayr Al-Qahtani dominates in his WBC Middle East title bout with Omar Dusary of Kuwait, who stood his ground through the eight rounds, but was visibly a beaten man by the end. The man from Jeddah takes the plaudits and is being interviewed by Sky Sports in the middle of the ring following his win...

19:00 - Check out this fantastic illustration for Arab News created by the Sporting Press especially for the Clash on the Dunes event...

18:30 - FIGHT ACTION: And the first action of the night is complete! Boxing out of the UAE, Majid Al-Naqbi gets a stoppage in the third round as he overpowers his Georgian rival Ilia Beruashvili in his lightweight contest to move 4-0 in his career. We are officially under way...

17:50 - In case you missed it earlier, Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone is in the Kingdom and he was loving the weigh-in on Friday - he was particularly delighted with Ruiz Jr.'s choice of song for his entrance...

17:20 - There is plenty of boxing action for tonight's card - here is a run down of all the bouts we have to look forward to tonight before the main event...

16:45 - Fans attending the fight might be in for a chilly evening, as the heavens opened briefly earlier and the wind has been picking up...

16:00 - The very impressive Diriyah Arena was put together in less than a month, you can read about it here...

15:15 - There is also a considerable undercard for the Clash on the Dunes event - including Saudi Arabia's own Zuhayr Al-Qahtani who is facing Omar Dusary from Kuwait for the WBC Middle East title, and Arab News caught up with him ahead of his big night...

14:30 - The fans of Joshua were in good voice at the weigh-in, with thousands of British fans in the Kingdom to support their hero, while a vocal crowd of Mexicans and Americans were cheering for Ruiz. The atmosphere in the Diriyah Arena should be electric tonight...

14:15 - It’s not just the boxing world taking an interest in this fight in Saudi Arabia - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho (known to be a big fan of Anthony Joshua) was asked who he thought would win tonight’s bout ...

13:45 - The boxing world held its breath on Friday night as the two heavyweight rivals faced off at Friday's weigh-in at Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh. See a full gallery from the showdown here...

13: 30 - The excitement is starting to build as we inch closer to the bell going in the Clash on the Dunes later tonight. You can read all this week's build-up to the huge fight in our dedicated Spotlight, highlights of which are below:

Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz Jr. weigh in for Clash on the Dunes bout in Diriyah

Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua focused on world heavyweight glory as they showcase skills at Riyadh public workout

Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua tour Diriyah stadium ahead of Saudi clash