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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Leicester's Riyad Mahrez training better than before exile - Claude Puel

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez could feature against Sheffield United.

Leicester manager Claude Puel has said Riyad Mahrez is training "even better" since returning to the squad after the self-imposed exile that followed his failure to secure a January window move to Manchester City.

Mahrez returned to action for Leicester when he came on as a substitute in the 62nd minute of the 5-1 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday, a day after ending his strike and reporting for training.

The Algeria international had hoped to move to City on transfer deadline day but the move fell through as Leicester valued Mahrez at £95 million but City were only willing to pay £65m.

But speaking at a news conference ahead of his side's FA Cup tie at home to Championship side Sheffield United on Friday, Puel, asked whether Mahrez was training as well as before, said: "I think better.

"He enjoys to play and to train with his teammates. He is a good player with no problem."

Puyel said he expected Leicester fans to give Mahrez a good reception if he plays in the home game against Sheffield United, adding: "I think it was good reception when he came on against Man City.

"I think the fans understand the difficulties to manage this period. We have stayed united. It is important now, together, to look forward."

However, Puel indicated that Mahrez would not necessarily feature, saying he would name " a strong team" as in the last round against Peterborouigh, when he made 10 changes.

"It will be a crucial game for us. I will pick a team to win," he said. "We want to get as far as we can in the FA Cup."

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