Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez will not leave the Premier League leaders during the January transfer window, according to the player's agent.
The Algeria international has scored 13 goals in 15 top flight appearances this term to guarantee the Foxes will be top at Christmas but has recently been linked with moves to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
The double against Everton at Goodison Park gives Claudio Ranieri's side a five-point advantage at the summit ahead of Manchester City's trip to Arsenal on 21 December. Mahrez and top-scorer Jamie Vardy have been key to the Midlanders' surprising form during the first half of the campaign and ahead of the January window both players have been linked with moves to pastures new.
French publication Le 10 Sport, quoting Telefoot, understands United and Tottenham have submitted bids of £29.9m ($44.6m) for the 24-year-old in a hope of luring away the English top flight's most outstanding player of the campaign. However, the player's agent has moved to quash such reports and says Leicester have no plans to sell Mahrez in January.
"I don't think Leicester want to sell him and he is focused on doing well with them," he told Sky Sports. "I think he will stay in January." Mahrez joined Leicester from Le Havre in January 2014 and in his second full season at the King Power Stadium has been among one of the standout players.
The impressive start made by Leicester during the opening five months of the campaign means that though they are not expected to maintain their place at the top of the Premier League, a European place is not beyond Ranieri's side. The player is conscious of his importance to the team and is ready to remain.
"The best thing for me would be to stay," Mahrez told RMC in December. "I'm not going to leave in January – it wouldn't be good for my team if I left. If we lose an individual like me, [Jamie] Vardy or [N'Golo] Kante, it could penalise the team. I would prefer to continue with the team until the end of the season."
Both United and Tottenham have their own designs on finishing in the top four and qualifying for next season's Champions League. Four games without a win have seen Louis van Gaal's side overtaken by Mauricio Pochettino's men on goal difference after 17 games.
Van Gaal has made no secret of his desire to improve his attacking options with United the third-lowest scorers in the top half, while Tottenham's over-dependence of top scorer Harry Kane remains a concern. However, Ranieri says neither player are for sale and hopes both players will be handed new contracts to cement their futures.
"Already I spoke to the two guys," he said last week. "We continue together, we can improve, to help grow up the team. Maybe at end of the season we can speak. I don't consider also in the summer. In my mind they are the first I want to keep and continue with this group. It is a good group. They are desperate in every single ball. I love this. I didn't speak with my owner. But he knows very well my idea, it is also his idea."