Manchester City have swiftly denied they acted inappropriately or with disrespect when pursuing Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez in the January transfer window.
Foxes boss Claude Puel came out yesterday, indirectly accusing the Blues of disrespect in trying to prise away Leicester’s star player.
“We don’t have a lot of players with the game quality of Riyad,” said Puel. “For some other teams, it’s not a difficulty to replace their players.
“For me, it’s important. We’re not a squad like some great teams at the top of the table. We need to manage better, and we need also perhaps some others’ respect.”
City have now briefed the press with their side of the story, and Sky Sports News state that negotiations over a potential fee for the 26-year-old began more than a week before the end of the January transfer window.
Furthermore, Leicester chiefs were open to negotiations and City insist that they would otherwise have walked away earlier.
There have been reports in recent days that Pep Guardiola was so bemused by Mahrez’s reaction to not getting his transfer – essentially downing tools and going on strike at Leicester for a while – that he has abandoned his pursuit of the Algerian international.
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