Football: Leicester manager Claude Puel slaps £100 million price tag on Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez had asked to leave Leicester City in pre-season.
Riyad Mahrez had asked to leave Leicester City in pre-season.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez could be worth even more than £100 million (S$182.3 million) if he leaves Leicester at the end of the season, Foxes manager Claude Puel said on Monday (Jan 15).

"It is speculation and we cannot respond to all the speculation with information," Puel told a press conference.

"Perhaps, in the summer, he will cost even more than £100 million.

"It is always the same thing about Riyad. It is just rumours, noise about him and other players," added Puel of Mahrez, one of the stars of Leicester's shock Premier League title triumph in the 2015-16 season.

"We can see Riyad smiling and enjoying his football and enjoying playing with his team-mates and it is the same in training.

"After the training session, he continues to play head tennis, and I want him to get more rest.

"All the rumours and speculation about Riyad, do the reporters want him to leave the club?"

Mahrez, however, asked to leave the Midlands club in pre-season but only Roma made a firm offer, with the Italian Serie A side's £32 million proposal not enough to persuade Leicester to sell.

A sign of the increasingly high prices clubs are prepared to play for players came when Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool from Premier League rivals Southampton for £75 million earlier this month, a world-record fee for a defender.