Good article from Martin Samuel on the Mahrez situation. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footba ... assle.html
Guardiola will sum up that Mahrez is not worth all the hassle
How ironic if the man who denies Riyad Mahrez his dream move to an elite club was not an executive or club owner, but the player himself.
The word from Manchester is that Pep Guardiola is going cold on Mahrez having witnessed how he has reacted to not getting his way on transfer deadline day.
Mahrez has not played for Leicester since, missing two games and soon a third, against Manchester City.
Playing would perhaps have afforded Mahrez the opportunity to cement a move in the summer, when there will be considerably more options on the market for Guardiola.
A game like he had last year when he helped inspire a 4-2 Leicester victory, or the year before when he scored one and made another at the Etihad as Leicester won 3-1, might have convinced Guardiola that he need look no further — or to come closer to Leicester's exorbitant valuation.
Instead, Mahrez's absence from the team sheet will leave another impression: that of a high maintenance, selfish individual who signed a contract, wants to end that contract prematurely and, finding he cannot, abandons his club and his team-mates.
Unsurprisingly, Guardiola is wondering whether such a character is worth the hassle, or upwards of £60million.
And his instincts would be right: he's not. On his day, Mahrez is one of the finest players in the Premier League, but those days do not come around as often as they should.
He was outstanding for Leicester at Chelsea last month, but some weeks, some months, some years almost, can go missing. Mahrez was brilliant the season Leicester won the title in 2015-16, then disappeared for much of the next campaign as Claudio Ranieri was sacked. Since, he has been inconsistent at best.
He scored a single goal between March 18 and October 16 last year and his present exile, and very public agitations to leave, will do little to endear him to potential suitors.
Elite players face challenges and disappointments, too, and it is to be hoped handle them without withdrawing from professional life.
Mahrez, it is claimed, is depressed at remaining a Leicester player. Depression is a real and serious condition and if Mahrez is suffering mental issues, he deserves sympathy and support.
Cynics, however, are understandably suspicious. The Professional Footballers' Association have offered to mediate, but why a person suffering mental illness would require the assistance of a union not a therapist is a mystery.
Transfer windows have a tendency to leave a residue of depressed footballers, unable to play for their clubs. Happily, a cure has been found: just give them exactly what they want and they cheer up.
Yet, even if Mahrez's mood is taken at face value, it can hardly be dismissed as irrelevant by Guardiola.
Life isn't perfect for players, even at Manchester City. There can be injury, failure, loss of form and, certainly at a club with City's squad depth, a place in the first-team cannot be guaranteed.
Guardiola needs players who can ride that, who can stay strong and surmount obstacles without requiring indulgence. Does Mahrez look like that sort now? If he is mentally fragile then, for all his talent, £60m would be a gamble.
With every day he stays away from Leicester, Mahrez appears less and less like an elite player and more like one who has found his level. He is worth the trouble at Leicester because they could not find an equivalent talent for the money — but City?
In the summer, there will be plenty of good players available for Mahrez's price, players that possess great talent, players that have remained consistent, that have never walked out on their club or team-mates, players that bring little but harmony to the dressing room.
Who is the prima donna in the current Manchester City side? There isn't one. That reveals the type Guardiola prefers; the type all managers like, really.
By turning his back on Leicester, Mahrez may find there isn't only one door closed on his return.