REUTERS – Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, who has reportedly caught the attention of several clubs across Europe after his strong performances in the first half of the season, has ruled out a move away from the Foxes during the January transfer window.
The 24-year-old, who joined Leicester from Ligue 2 club Le Havre in 2014, has been one of the Premier League’s standout performers so far, with 11 goals and seven assists in 15 appearances this season.
“It’s best for me to stay until the end of the season. I was at Le Havre, I had six months left but nobody came to get me. Leicester tried very hard to get me,” Mahrez told French radio station RMC.
“I could feel that they wanted me. I took the decision without knowing the culture or the area. It was a risk.
“When you come from far away and you ended up in the Premier League it makes you happy.”
Leicester, who were on the brink of relegation last season, moved two points ahead off second-placed Arsenal after Monday’s 2-1 win over champions Chelsea but Mahrez has reiterated that the team are not title contenders.
“We are not going to win the league, no. I don’t think we have broad enough shoulders to do it. At the moment we are first, but that means nothing, the big teams will wake up at some point,” Mahrez said.
Claudio Ranieri’s men kick off their festive fixtures against 10th-placed Everton on Saturday, followed by matches against Liverpool, Manchester City and Bournemouth.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)