Thursday, 18 January 2018

Islam Slimani may have to leave Leicester this month – Claude Puel

Leicester manager Claude Puel admits striker Islam Slimani may have to leave the club this January transfer window to find regular game time.

Sky Sports reports Besiktas want to sign Slimani – Leicester’s club-record £29m signing – with talks regarding the potential sale of the Algerian ongoing.

The 29-year-old has started only one Premier League game since September scoring just five goals in all competitions this season, and Puel believes Leicester’s depth of attacking options may force Slimani to move on.

“For Slimani, I cannot give all the ties about an individual player,” he said.

“I repeat, that since the beginning, that we have a lot of strikers. We need to make a good balance for the team, to give game time for all the players.

“We will see if some players can win some game time at other clubs but we have to discuss with these players.”

One attacker who will not be leaving Leicester, according to the Frenchman, is Riyad Mahrez following reported interest from Liverpool and Arsenal.

Puel, who previously said the Algerian could be worth £100m in the summer transfer window, reiterated that the winger is happy at the King Power Stadium.

He said: “For Mahrez, there is nothing new to say about Riyad. It’s always the same thing, always the same response.

“I’m happy with him, he’s enjoying his football and he’s enjoying playing with his team-mates – this is the most important thing.

“We can see his performance in games; he’s a very good player and he likes his club and team-mates. It’s a good feeling for him.”

Regarding potential incomings at Leicester, Puel said nothing was imminent but a deal could be struck if a player of interest became available.

“No, we are not close for the moment to signing other players,” the 56-year-old said. “I think we work normally in this transfer window and it’s important to keep our focus about our transfer window.

“I think it’s important to keep this squad because it’s fantastic and it has a positive attitude.

“Of course if we can improve the squad we will sign a player but for the moment it’s not like this.”

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