Eredivisie Groningen left Mimoun Mahi out of the squad, and not for the first time, as he continues to be linked with Championship giants Leeds United.

It has been clear since October that FC Groningen were willing to part company with star striker Mimoun Mahi.

The Sun claimed that a number of clubs in England, namely Nottingham Forest, Stoke City and Swansea, were keen on the Moroccan international forward and his Eredivisie employers were keen to cash in.

The £2 million-rated Mahi was banished from the squad three months ago amid reported links with England. And Groningen General Director Hans Nijland told Voetbal International that ‘for all parties, it’s best if he gets a transfer’.

But with less than a week to go before the window slams shut, 23-year-old speedster Mahi remains at the Euroborg.

This is despite reports in the Yorkshire Evening Post just before the turn of the year stating that Leeds United were interested in bringing Mahi to Elland Road.

The striker, who has six goals in the Eredivisie this season, was again omitted as Groningen began 2018 with a 1-1 draw with Utrecht as links with a move away continued.

But, with just one game to go before Wednesday’s transfer deadline, Mahi for the first time appears to have put an end to speculation surrounding his immediate future.

“In two months I will have a baby, which I want to raise in the Netherlands for the first few months. Moreover, the World Cup is coming,” Mahi, who made his Morocco debut last September and could be central to their hopes in Russia next year, told Oog TV.

It has been a rocky few months for the alleged Leeds target, but it appears that he can relax until the summer with exit talks firmly on hold.

In other news, Alan Shearer lauds 'special talent' matching Pele's World Cup record amid Liverpool rumours