Riyad Mahrez in Algeria

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Riyad Mahrez has been abroad during his exile, Sportsmail reveal, as Claude Puel pleaded with the Algerian to come back to Leicester.

Puel was unable to bring clarity to a number of details, with Mahrez’s absence set to continue past a second weekend.

The Leicester manager confirmed Sportsmail’s story from Wednesday that Mahrez will miss Saturday’s match at Manchester City but declined to say: If he had spoken to his player since his absence began on January 30, whether he knows where the 26-year-old is or if he could put a date on a return.

‘I hope he can come back and work hard with the team sooner rather than later. Of course, we will see,’ Puel said.

Leicester sources stress that keeping such information confidential is to adhere to employment law but the uncertainty only adds fuel to suspicions from well-placed sources that Mahrez is AWOL.

Mahrez is said to be very low after the collapse of his transfer to City and the situation is being handled delicately by Leicester, who are raising the prospect he has been granted leave.

It is expected the club will issue a two-week fine worth £200,000 for Mahrez missing a training session the day before transfer deadline and then the game at Everton.

It has been confirmed to Sportsmail that Mahrez has been out of the country in the past few days. There are further suggestions the former PFA Player of the Year went to Algeria, and claims he was spotted on Thursday at Charles de Gaulle Airport heading back to London Heathrow.

Culled from Sport Mail

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