Leicester City manager Claude Puel has ruled Riyad Mahrez out of the Premier League game at Manchester City on Saturday and said that the midfielder needs to "get his head right."
The Algeria international has not reported for training since a move to City fell through on transfer deadline day. City wanted to pay £65 million for Mahrez, but Leicester wanted at least £95m.
Mahrez, who also handed in a transfer request during the summer, missed Leicester's 1-1 draw against Swansea City on Feb. 3.
"I hope Riyad can get his head right and come back with us and work hard," Puel said, speaking at his prematch news conference. "The best way is for him to come back and enjoy his football.
"He is a magnificent player and he enjoys his football. He loves his teammates and that's important. He loves to touch the football but he needs to come back right. I hope he can come back with a good attitude and prepared to work, but he will need time, and time to be match-fit.
"It's important this remains inside the club and private, not in the public. The most important thing for me is to keep Riyad and the club and the fans united and in a good way about this. It is important to keep a good feeling together through these difficulties."
Sources at the club stress that keeping details confidential is paramount in adhering to employment law but the uncertainty surrounding Mahrez's future is casting a shadow over the King Power Stadium.
Puel said: "I can understand all this speculation about the situation but I cannot comment on this, it is not right.
"I don't want to give details about our relation. It is important all the details remain inside the club and not public.
"There are 12 Premier League matches remaining. It is important to keep calm and focus and concentrate. It is important to keep a good feeling. We need to enjoy our football and look forward.