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Liverpool's Adam Lallana won't be penalised for U23s red card - Klopp

Liverpool's Adam Lallana won't be penalised for U23s red card - Klopp

ESPN

Riyad Mahrez saw a transfer deadline move to Manchester City fail as Leicester stood firm over their £95 million valuation of him -- and then he refused to train.

Puel says Mahrez needs to get his head right but what's next for Leicester's mercurial talent? ESPN FC's club correspondents have their say on whether their team should consider a summer move.

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MAN CITY: Yes

Pep Guardiola wants more options out wide to stretch opponents, particularly against tight, defensive teams, which is why Mahrez would be an ideal fit for Manchester City. His ability to beat a player and score goals from the wing would provide an alternative to Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sterling which City don't have, and he has a proven quality to play on the quick counter-attack, which Guardiola's side so often use to good effect. The biggest question mark would be whether he would be effective helping with the high press but the City boss clearly thought he was worth taking a risk on in the January transfer window and may rekindle interest in the summer. -- Jonathan Smith

MAN UNITED: No

Mahrez is a good player who would add to most teams in the Premier League, but he is not what Manchester United need. Jose Mourinho has already said he is not looking to buy more attacking players after signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. He has already got Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford to fill the wide roles. Mahrez is productive going forward, but it's debatable whether he would fit into Mourinho's system. Mourinho demands that his wide players work hard defensively -- as Martial, in particular, has found out -- and that is not the strongest part of Mahrez's game. -- Rob Dawson

LIVERPOOL: Yes

Mahrez was touted as Philippe Coutinho's replacement during the January window, but sources had told ESPN FC that there was no interest from Liverpool. In terms of his playing style and attributes, the Algerian would be a decent fit in Jurgen Klopp's front three, which is currently looking light of options following Coutinho's departure. But even if Liverpool were to view Mahrez as a stop-gap while prime are unavailable, Leicester's eye-watering asking price for the 26-year-old would mean it's a fair bet that any move would be a club-record transfer. With that in mind, it's likely Liverpool will just continue to pursue their first-choice targets. -- Glenn Price

CHELSEA: Yes

Chelsea have struggled in attack this season. No one is sure yet if Alvaro Morata is physically and mentally capable of becoming a worthy successor to Diego Costa and, in terms of creation, it often falls upon Eden Hazard to provide all of the imagination in Antonio Conte's 3-4-3 system. Conte is unlikely to still be at Stamford Bridge this summer, but Chelsea's need for another player who can commit defenders and create for themselves and others will be just as urgent. Mahrez fits that bill perfectly, and already has great chemistry with former Leicester City teammates N'Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater. Wages are unlikely to be an issue for Chelsea, though Leicester's valuation would be if they can't be persuaded to compromise. -- Liam Twomey

TOTTENHAM: No

Of course Mahrez would fit at Tottenham. He's a skilful, speedy match-winner who scores great goals, and that's exactly the kind of player Mauricio Pochettino has been missing from Spurs' front four for over two years. But the club has just signed one in Lucas Moura, leaving competition for places suddenly very healthy, and, if reports are to be believed, the Brazilian cost a mere £70 million less than Leicester's asking price for Mahrez. As Pochettino is fond of saying nowadays, Spurs "sign opportunities" and at the Foxes' valuation, Mahrez isn't one. -- Dan Kilpatrick

ARSENAL: No

Before January, Mahrez looked like a decent option for the Gunners as a replacement for Sanchez. But with the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsene Wenger already has more attacking players than he can fit into his lineup. Arsenal need to focus on strengthening the defensive side of the squad this summer, and Mahrez simply doesn't fit their needs at the moment. -- Mattias Karen

BARCELONA: No

Barcelona quickly knocked back suggestions they were in for Mahrez in the summer when he was rumoured to have been spotted at El Prat airport. That was before they had signed Coutinho, though, and even if a deal for the Algerian may have made sense then, it certainly doesn't now. Ernesto Valverde already has his hands full trying to work Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele into his side, while Antoine Griezmann is a much more likely summer target.  -- Sam Marsden

REAL MADRID: No

Predicting what might happen during the looming summer shake-up at Real Madrid is a mug's game, but at the time of writing it seems very unlikely that the La Liga giants would move for Mahrez. He was mentioned in the local rumour mill during his spectacular 2015-16 with Leicester, but he has mostly slipped from notice now and the Algerian would not have the usual profile preferred by Bernabeu chief Florentino Perez, especially as his country will not be at the summer's World Cup. Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar or Chelsea's Hazard are much more likely targets for the next big Galactico signing. -- Dermot Corrigan

BAYERN MUNICH: No

Bayern president Uli Hoeness is keen for more German internationals at the club. That's where the Bavarians' transfer focus headed last summer with the additions of Niklas Sule, Serge Gnabry and Sebastian Rudy to their star-studded squad. And in January, Bayern beat keen competition from Premier League clubs and Barcelona to sign the hugely talented German midfielder Leon Goretzka from Schalke. Goretzka's arrival in the summer adds another attacking midfielder to the mix, so Mahrez is simply not needed. Bayern will be looking to offload midfielders rather than sign them, with Arturo Vidal looking the most likely to depart in the summer. And even if there was a hole in the squad, Bayern are not renowned for signing players of dubious character, if all the mess surrounding Mahrez's failed move to Guardiola's Manchester City is to be believed. -- Mark Lovell

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: No

As good a player as he is, there is no longer space for Mahrez at PSG. With Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar in the Ligue 1 leaders' front three, there is no obvious starting berth for the Algeria international at Parc des Princes. A return to France could still be a good idea as there are a few stages in Ligue 1 bigger than his one in Leicester but Paris is no longer one of those options. -- Jonathan Johnson

LONDON -- Antonio Conte revealed that he has no idea when Alvaro Morata will be fit to return from lingering back pain, and reiterated that he is not thinking of leaving Chelsea after a torrid recent run of results.

A humiliating 4-1 loss against Watford on Monday prompted a fresh wave of reports that Conte might be sacked after a run of two wins in 10 matches in 2018, though Chelsea are reluctant to make a coaching change before the end of the season.

In a news conference on Friday, Conte insisted that the level of speculation surrounding his future is unfair and pointed to the injuries that Chelsea are dealing with -- most notably Morata, who has not featured since being sent off in extra-time of Chelsea's penalty shootout win over Norwich City in an FA Cup third round replay earlier this month.

"We are talking a lot about bad results but we forgot that we're facing a serious situation," Conte said. "Players like Morata are missing for a lot of time and we're struggling a lot to find the solution to the pain in his back. If you ask me if [he will be out] one day, one month, the rest of the season I don't know. For this reason I'm a bit worried.

"I'm not thinking for one moment the possibility of going away from this club. My commitment, the commitment of my players is totally for this club. You know that a lot of times the manager or coach depends on results. In this case we're having poor results and for this reason we must pay great attention.

"We have to try to stop this bad run, and to try to get three points [against West Brom]. It won't be easy because as you know very well in this type of situation, the confidence is not high. We have to work, we have concentrate on getting three points."

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.

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.

"I hope Mahrez is back for Leicester tomorrow, he's a good player and I like to see him play," Guardiola told a news conference.

LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp says he has spoken to Adam Lallana after he was sent off in an under-23s match earlier this week but stressed it will not impact the midfielder's availability for Liverpool's trip to Southampton on Sunday.

Lallana reacted angrily to a challenge from Tottenham Hotspur's George Marsh during a Premier League 2 fixture at Stevenage on Monday night, grabbing the teenager around the neck before being led away by teammate Danny Ings.

However, the England international will not be banned from any first-team fixtures, and Klopp said at a news conference on Friday: "It's not nice. I spoke to him, it's not how it should be. He wasn't happy about the reaction and I wasn't either. He's an option for the squad [on Sunday]."

More to follow...

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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