Shakespeare reveals how Leicester’s squad mocked Mahrez following transfer drama

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Leicester City superstar Riyad Maharez was rumoured to be pushing for a move out of the club in the summer.

Manchester United and Arsenal were among a whole array of clubs linked with the Algerian but a transfer out of the King Power stadium never materialised.

Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare has confirmed the rumours that Mahrez left international duty to fly to Europe on deadline day to secure his dream move to one of the ‘big clubs’ of the Premier League. Shakespeare also revealed an interesting anecdote on how he and his players greeted Mahrez upon his return to the club.

“I was sitting at home and got a phone call from Jon (Rudkin, director of football) saying the Algerian FA had given Riyad permission to miss the game,” he said.

“It was a real knife-edge time and we were in the hands of other people. We understood he wanted to move because he’d made it clear but the owners wanted a realistic price.

“Dealing with that was another moment in the managerial experience.

“He came back to training after the window closed and we were calling him Tom Hanks out of The Terminal.”

Mahrez was the catalyst in Leicester winning the Premier League in 2016 and was voted as the PFA’s player of the year for his exploits on the pitch. The 26-year-old, however, has not quite been able to replicate that form for the Foxes this season.

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