Leicester City manager Claude Puel has criticised Manchester City over the disruption caused by their late approach for playmaker Riyad Mahrez.

Algeria international Mahrez ended the self-imposed exile that followed his failure to secure a January window move to City when he came on as a substitute in the 62nd minute of the 5-1 defeat to them at the Etihad Stadium.

The day before that, he had ended his strike and reporting for training.

Mahrez had hoped to move to City on deadline day but the move fell through as Leicester valued him at £95 million but City were only willing to pay £65m.

And Puel, who could start him in Friday’s FA Cup tie at home to Sheffield United, said: “We tried to protect the squad and all parts of the club. That was the most important thing at the beginning.

“We had some solicitation from another club — just to make an approach just one or two days before the end of the transfer window, I don’t know if it’s normal.

“I cannot suffer this situation because other teams make this thing against us. Some teams can have a lot of possibilities to replace some players, they have a different situation to manage.

“We don’t have a lot of players with the same quality as Riyad. For some other teams, it’s not a difficulty to replace their players.

“For me, it’s important. We are not a squad like some great teams at the top of the table. We need also perhaps some more respect from some teams.”

Puel, who said Mahrez was training better than before the saga, said Leicester had “succeeded in keeping a good unity within the team” and added: “It was a situation we are putting behind us.”

He said the rest of the players had welcomed Mahrez back “with a good feeling” and were “moving on and looking forwards.”