Thursday 27 October 2016

Mahrez told to ignore speculation

Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez. Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters
Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez. Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters

Leicester captain Wes Morgan has told Riyad Mahrez to ignore the continued speculation over his future.

The Foxes' title-winning skipper wants winger Mahrez to follow Jamie Vardy's lead of snubbing a move from the Premier League champions.

Boss Claudio Ranieri has repeatedly said he expects last season's PFA Player of the Year to stay at the King Power Stadium having already lost N'Golo Kante to Chelsea.

Mahrez has been linked with Arsenal and Morgan has urged the Algeria winger to stay focused on the Foxes as they prepare to defend their title.

"I'm sure it's expected, we won the league and the bigger teams are going to try and poach our best players," he said.

"You know, as a player, you can't really take much notice to that. We just have to do what we do best. Get on the training field, try and train and keep focus on our job. There is going to be speculation and it's sad to see N'Golo Kante go but we've got new players in now and everyone is settled in well and we're just training hard and looking forward to the season."

Ranieri added: "I think Mahrez for us is very important as our light. If he goes in another big team, there are so many lights, so many stars, why? Stay with us, it's much better, much better. He's our champion. If he goes in another team, there are so many champions.

"He knows me, I know him very well and I understand when he plays so-so and I can permit to stay on the pitch."

The Foxes are in Los Angeles ahead of Saturday's International Champions Cup match against PSG as they prepare for next month's Community Shield against Manchester United. They beat Celtic on penalties at the weekend and also face Barcelona in Stockholm next Wednesday before the season's curtain raiser with United at Wembley on August 7.

Morgan added: "It's probably the best test you can get, Barcelona speaks for itself. I'm really looking forward to that. And PSG, they're a great team also so some big, big games for us and we're really looking forward to it.

"We'll try our best. We know it's not going to be easy but we know what we're capable of on our day we know how good we can be."

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