Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, pictured, does not expect Riyad Mahrez to leave this January.

Claudio Ranieri hopes Leicester star Riyad Mahrez can handle increased scrutiny

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Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has told Riyad Mahrez he must learn to deal with the spotlight and speculation.

The 14-goal winger is likely to stay at the King Power Stadium in January despite being linked with a move away.

Barclays Premier League leaders Leicester are not interested in selling Mahrez, who signed a new four-year deal in August, and Ranieri knows the Algeria winger needs to handle the extra pressure ahead of the January transfer window.

He said: "He wants to stay with us, we want to keep him and that's it. He has to improve and when he improves, the team improves and when that happens why would he want to go away? He's a king here.

"He can grow with the team because if you stay at the bottom and fight no-one knows you but now everybody is talking about you and that is maybe a bit of pressure.

"You have to manage this kind of pressure. It's important for him to manage this stress. It's important he understands on the pitch is one thing and the TVs and newspapers are another thing."

Robert Huth is back from suspension for Boxing Day's trip to Liverpool after missing Saturday's 3-2 win at Everton while Danny Drinkwater (hamstring) is likely to sit out.

The Foxes are two points clear at the top, 12 months after being bottom at Christmas, but Ranieri is playing it cool.

He said: "The pressure is on the big teams. Leicester had the pressure last season in this period, bad stress. Now they must enjoy it. They must play free, without pressure. It's stupid if we have pressure. Why? Enjoy it. All the world are speaking about you.

"When we achieve 40 points we'll stop for one second and have a meeting. Maybe they want to go one side, I want to go one side, we have to go together."

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