Puel: Mahrez important to my plans

Riyad Mahrez

Leicester boss Claude Puel wants to continue working with Riyad Mahrez amid speculation linking him with a move away from the club this month.

The Algeria international has excelled in his new role under Puel, contributing six goals and four assists since the Frenchman took over the reins in late October.

Roma had a £32 million bid rejected for Mahrez in the off-season after he handed in a transfer request, and his future is the subject of conjecture once more during the current transfer window.

But Puel is hoping that the 26-year-old remains at the King Power Stadium following positive talks between the pair.

“I want to keep all my best players and Riyad is an important player in the team for us,” he said.

“When I discussed things with him, he had a good attitude and is enjoying his football. He is a happy player and likes to play with his team-mates.

“His statistics have improved, with assists and scoring. Of course I want him to continue all this good work.”

Puel quashed rumours that Mahrez had asked for a January exit, saying: “No he is happy with the squad, it is speculation but for me it is no problem.

“He is happy to play with this team, he enjoys his football and this is the most important thing.”