Man City boss Pep Guardiola: I hope Riyad Mahrez plays against us

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MANCHESTER -- Pep Guardiola says he hopes Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez plays against Manchester City when the two sides on Saturday.

Mahrez was a January transfer target for City but the club pulled out a move with sources telling ESPN FC that the Foxes were demanding £95 million.

After going on strike, the 26-year-old Algeria international returned to training on Friday for the first time since the potential switch to the Etihad Stadium fell through and could be available to play against City.

"Hopefully [he will play], I want him to come back soon and play because we enjoy watching him and hopefully he'll come back soon with Leicester and play at his level," Guardiola told a news conference.

City will have a couple of players back for the Premier League clash with John Stones and Phil Foden returning to training but Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Fabian Delph are still not fit.

Guardiola said he will be able to name a full squad for the game to face Leicester City and aimed his response at TV pundit Gary Neville, who criticised the City boss after he named just six substitutes for the 1-1 draw against Burnley last weekend.

"We'll have 18 players tomorrow so Gary Neville can be happy," he said when asked to give an injury update.

Jesus' return from a knee ligament injury is still at least two weeks away and Guardiola praised Sergio Aguero's work-rate for filling the position by himself.

"We have tomorrow and three days later the Champions League, five days for the next one, five days for the final. We'll see day by day how the players feel. We've done it this way and we'll continue," he said.

"I would like to give [Augero] a rest but he's the only striker that we have so he's making a huge effort and doing really well. Gabriel Jesus will come back soon and maybe in one week or two weeks he will be ready.

"Sane is much better but I don't think he will be back for the Champions League. He's just running in training."