Date: 4th January 2018 at 9:29pm
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Leicester City manager Claude Puel has said he has held positive talks with Riyad Mahrez as the rumours of a departure begin to swirl again.

Having handed in a transfer request previously and seen himself linked with the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, those rumours are back now that the January window is back with us, but Puel is adamant he wants to keep our stars and following his chats with the Algerian he’s confident he’ll be here come February.

Speaking to Sky Sports the former Southampton manager explained.

‘I want to keep all my best players and Riyad is an important player in the team for us. 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 teammates. His statistics have improved, with assists and scoring. Of course I want him to continue all this good work.’

With speculation seeming to suggest that Mahrez had again requested a transfer after agreement couldn’t be found with Roma last summer, Puel dismissed those suggestions out of hand.

‘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.’

Looking ahead briefly to the FA Cup third round clash against Fleetwood, he confirmed that Jamie Vardy was a doubt when it came to making a return to his former club.

‘We will see. If he cannot be 100 per cent, we will not risk him. He is not training with the team. He is just doing some exercises in the gym. For the moment, it is not good for him.’

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