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Riyad Mahrez expresses desire to leave Leicester City

Leicester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez has tendered his desire to leave the club this summer, according to a team statement.

Mahrez claimed he stayed on for a year after their miraculous Premier League win in 2016, “out of admiration and respect” but he also feels “now is the time for me to move on.”

“I had a good discussion with the chairman last summer and we agreed at that time that I would stay for another year in order to help the club as best as I could following the transition of winning the title and in the Champions Leauge,” said Mahrez, who was named the PFA Player of the Year on their title-winning season.

“I’ve had the four best seasons of my career at Leicester and have loved every moment,” said Mahrez, who signed from French club Le Havre for a reported £400,000 in 2014. “I feel immense pride to have been a part of what we have achieved during my time at the club, culminating in becoming Premier League champions.

“The relationship I share with the club and our amazing fans are something I will treasure forever and I truly hope they will understand and respect my decision.”

Mahrez is considered as one of the four pillars of the Foxes’ unlikely title run, along with striker Jamie Vardy, Captain Wes Morgan and workhorse midfielder N’Golo Kante, who has transferred to Chelsea last summer and helped the Blues win the throne this term.

The 26-year-old Algerian has been criticized for his drop of form, as his league tallies went down from 17 goals and 11 assists in 2016 to six goals and three assists this year.

Leicester City also got thrown into controversy following their sacking of manager Claudio Ranieri for their poor title defense this season. The Foxes finished 12th in the league and got kicked out by Atletico Madrid in the quarter-final of the Champions League.