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Puel: Mahrez has returned to Leicester in better shape than before

Credit: PA

Riyad Mahrez has returned from his self-imposed exile a better player, according to Leicester manager Claude Puel.

The midfielder was back in the Leicester squad last weekend against Manchester City after a 10-day period of leave from the club following the breakdown of a proposed move to join Pep Guardiola's team.

He appeared as a second-half substitute at the Etihad Stadium and Mahrez is in contention to start Leicester's FA Cup tie at home to Sheffield United on Friday night after making a positive impression in training.

Asked whether the 26-year-old had returned in as good a shape as before his absence, Puel insisted there was in fact an improvement.

I think [he has returned] better.

He enjoys to play and train with his team-mates and he is at a good level with no problem. He has come back with a smile. The story is behind him, all the players want to move on.

It is important to put an end to the talking about Riyad, he came back to the game at Manchester City.

We need to move on, for him he needs to kick on, like the team the most important thing is in front of us.

– Claude Puel

Starting XI's: Chelsea v Leicester

Chelsea XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill (c), Rudiger; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard, Morata.

Leicester XI: Schmeichel (c), Amartey, Dragović, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, James, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy.

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Done deal: Leicester sign forward Diabate

Claude Puel has added a forward to his team. Credit: PA

Leicester have signed versatile forward Fousseni Diabate on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

The 22-year-old Malian has joined the Foxes from French second-tier side Gazelec Ajaccio for an undisclosed fee.

Diabate, who can play as a central striker or on the wing, moved to the Corsican club after two seasons with Guingamp.

The Premier League club announced the signing of the player on Saturday morning.

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