Cape Town – Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez has spoken out against allegations that he has been on strike due to a failed transfer to Manchester City.
The Algerian winger missed their last two matches, a defeat to Everton and a draw against Swansea, reportedly in protest to being denied a January move to City.
"Leicester City were always aware of my whereabouts and had knowledge of my thinking either directly or via my advisors," Mahrez said in a statement reported by the Leicester Mercury.
"I have been a part of the Leicester City team that has achieved much success including promotion to the Premier League and being champions of the league.
"My goals have always been the same and I have always given my full 100 percent when I play for the club the fans and my team-mates.
"Those goals remain the same today and in the future and when I am asked to be a part of the Leicester team, rest assured I will continue to give my all.
"Over the past ten days many people claiming to be my friend have spoken about me and things they know nothing about.
"Off the back of that many people and journalists have made assumptions without properly checking the story, so I would like to clarify that all those so-called assumptions of why I was absent are completely untrue.
"Myself nor my advisors have ever made any statements about that so all presumptions made are totally without foundation."
The Foxes face the Premier League leaders at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but Mahrez is unlikely to feature despite the club confirming that he had returned to training on Friday.
"I hope he can get his head right and come back with us and work hard," said Leicester manager Claude Puel. "The best way is to come back and enjoy his football."