Man City and Leicester talks over Riyad Mahrez began a week before Deadline Day

Manchester City began negotiations with Leicester City over the transfer of Riyad Mahrez more than a week before the end of the January transfer window, Sky Sports News understands.

Leicester manager Claude Puel accused Man City of a lack of “respect” for leaving their approach until “just one or two days before the end of the transfer window”.

But we understand Leicester were open to discussing a potential fee for the Algerian international and that if the Foxes had, at any point, said they did not want to discuss a potential transfer, then Man City would have walked away from the negotiations.

Mahrez is now pushing for a recall to Leicester’s starting line-up on Friday night when they host Sheffield United in the FA Cup.

The 26-year-old started on the bench and was introduced on the hour mark as City beat Leicester 5-1 in the Premier League last weekend.