Kylian Mbappe has admitted he asked to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer amid interest from Real Madrid, but insists he made clear his position early in the transfer window and that PSG “made him feel like a thief” over the saga.
Mbappe was the subject of multiple bids by Madrid during the transfer window, including a €200m (£172m) deadline day offer, but the approaches were rejected by PSG who see Mbappe as a key component in their ambition to win the Champions League alongside fellow superstar forwards Neymar and Lionel Messi.
The 22-year-old’s contract runs out at the end of the season, and he claims he asked to leave so that PSG might receive a fee for his departure. Instead they rebuffed the bids and he now appears set to leave on a free transfer next summer.
“I asked to leave, because from the moment where I did not want to extend, I wanted for the club to receive a transfer fee so that they could bring in a quality replacement,” Mbappe told French radio station RMC.
“This club has given me a lot, I have always been happy [during] the four years I have had here, and I still am. I said it early enough so that the club could react. I wanted everyone to come out of this stronger, that we leave hand in hand, to make a good deal and I respected that. I said, ‘If you don’t want me to go I will stay’.”
Mbappe insisted that he had made his stance clear with plenty of time before the deadline at the end of August. “Personally, I didn’t really appreciate Paris Saint-Germain saying, ‘He is asking to leave in the last week of August’ because that is wrong. It made me feel like a thief. I informed them early, at the end of July.
“People have said that I turned down six or seven extension offers, that I don't want to talk to Leonardo [PSG’s sporting director] anymore, that's absolutely not true. My position was clear, I said at the end of July that I wanted to leave.”
Mbappe is PSG’s top league goalscorer this term with four goals and three assists in nine appearances. The team suffered their first defeat of the Ligue 1 campaign this weekend in a 2-0 loss at Rennes but they remain six points clear at the top of the table. They are also top of their Champions League group following victory over Manchester City in midweek, when Messi combined with Mbappe to score his first goal for the club.
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