Claude Puel has refused to confirm whether Riyad Mahrez has permission to miss Leicester training and won't put a date on his return.

Puel plays pacifying role in Mahrez muddle

Puel plays pacifying role in Mahrez muddle

The Foxes boss, speaking ahead of his side's clash with Mahrez's suitors Manchester City, described the absent Algerian as a 'magnificent player' but that he remains unavailable to play this weekend.

Mahrez has missed almost a week of training since seeing a potential deadline-day move to the Premier League leaders collapse because City would not match the Foxes' asking-price.

Puel trod a careful line when questioned about the 2016 PFA Player of the Year, saying only he wished to see the 26-year-old back with the rest of the squad soon.

'There is no news. I hope Riyad can get his head right and to come back with us,' said the Frenchman. 'The best way is to come back and enjoy his football.

'Riyad is a magnificent player and he loves football. He loves his relationship with his friends and team-mates. He needs to come back and to play, to touch the ball.'

The Leicester City boss said he understands fans' frustrations at the prolonged saga.

'I don’t want to comment and give details of our relationship with Riyad' he added. 'It is important to all details remain inside the club and not in the public.

'I can understand all this speculation. I think it is important in this difficult time to keep all players, and club, united. Together, to look forward and continue the hard work on the pitch.'