• Mahrez has an agreement with Leicester's owners to leave the club in January.
  • Liverpool and Arsenal will have to meet the Foxes' £50m valuation.

Riyad Mahrez is still looking to leave Leicester City despite Claude Puel suggesting that he will remain at the club at least until the end of the season.

The Algerian winger handed in a transfer request last summer but failed to engineer a move away from the club after interested clubs failed to meet the Foxes' £50m ($68.8m) valuation.

Mahrez eventually stayed put at the King Power Stadium and, after a slow start to the campaign, the right-sided midfielder has found form under new manager Puel. The 26-year-old has scored seven goals and provided eight assists in 23 league games so far, and has attracted attention from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.

The former is looking at the Algeria international as a potential replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who left to join Barcelona earlier this month. The Gunners, meanwhile, are on the verge of losing Alexis Sanchez and Arsene Wenger could make a move for Mahrez as a replacement for the Chilean.

According to The Sun, via Get French Football, the Leicester star is keen on making a move and reportedly has an agreement with the club's owners about being allowed to leave during the ongoing January transfer window.

Jurgen Klopp and Wenger could go head-to-head for the Algerian, but both clubs will have to meet the Foxes' valuation which is likely to be around £50m. Mahrez is said to be in talks with the Reds, but his first preference remains Arsenal.

A source close to the player has indicated that any move will most likely take place in the closing stages of the transfer window, but made it clear that Mahrez remains keen to join one of the big clubs in England or abroad.

"Riyad is a very important part of Leicester's squad. They have promised him that he can leave if the club that wants to buy him meets their asking price," the source was quoted as saying by The Sun.

"I think that if he does leave Leicester, it will happen close to when the transfer window shuts. The negotiations will surely take a lot of time.

"I can confirm that Riyad still wants to leave Leicester for a big club. However, we must wait for firm offers to come in for this to happen," the source added.

Meanwhile, Puel has dismissed any talk of a January move as speculation and believes the midfielder, who has impressed in recent matches, could be worth over £100m in the summer. Mahrez could join an elite list of players who have completed transfers for upwards of three figures – Neymar, Ousmane Dembele and Coutinho. Kylian Mbappe will most certainly join the list in the summer when his £166m deal becomes permanent.

"It is always the same thing about Riyad," Puel said, as quoted by BBC Sport. "It is just rumours, noise about him and other players.

"Perhaps in the summer, he will cost even more than £100m," the Frenchman added. "It is speculation and we cannot respond to all the speculation with information.

"We can see Riyad smiling and enjoying his football and enjoying playing with his team-mates – and it is the same in training."

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez is still keen to join a big club either in England or abroad Getty