Leicester City’s wantaway winger Riyad Mahrez has been left feeling ‘very low’ after failing to clinch his dream move to Manchester City, according to a source close to the player.
City were offering a package worth £60million, which included a player moving in part exchange, and made it clear they were not prepared to go higher.
Leicester were demanding £95m and City made the decision on Wednesday afternoon to walk away from the deal on the table because the two clubs were too far apart on valuation.
A close friend who has worked with the Leicester winger told Sportsmail on Wednesday night: ‘Riyad is very low this evening over the events of the last two days. He doesn’t understand why Leicester have behaved in the way they have. This is the fourth transfer window in which Leicester have said they will allow him to leave.
‘He feels very strongly that he has done everything in his power for the club. He played a huge part in Leicester’s promotion in his first season. He then helped them make history in winning the Premier League title and he has done what the chairman has asked of him, which is to stay at the King Power and secure the club’s Premier League safety.
‘They have let Kante and Drinkwater go. He would have been the record sale in the history of the club and the record purchase for Manchester City. Leicester would also have made £59.8m profit on the player they bought from Le Havre for £350,000.
‘He’s been told by many of his former team-mates that in order to get out of Leicester, you have to go to war something he has tried to avoid and does not want to do
‘He’s given his all for Leicester this season so that he could leave in this window. Joining Manchester City would have been a dream for him. Playing for Pep is something he is still desperate to do.
‘That seems a long way off right now. He’s very down about how he’s been treated by a club he has served so well.’
The Premier League leaders may return for Mahrez in the summer with club sources dismissing the notion that they only moved for the 2016 PFA Player of the Year after Leroy Sane was ruled out for up to seven weeks with ankle ligament damage.
It’s understood that no formal bid was tabled for Mahrez, but City made it clear in a series of phone conversations that they were ready to break their transfer record for the second day in a row after spending £57m on defender Aymeric Laporte.
Once again, the City hierarchy have demonstrated that they will draw the line in negotiations after pulling out of deals to sign Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk in this transfer window.
The decision is bound to frustrate Mahrez who handed in a transfer request and did not travel with the rest of the squad to face Everton on Wednesday night.
City face West Brom insistent that there will be no more new signings before the deadline, although Eliaquim Mangala is expected to join Everton on loan until the end of the season.