Mauricio Pochettino is confident speculation around Kylian Mbappe’s future, which the player himself provoked this week, will not have a negative impact on Paris Saint-Germain in the final weeks of the season.
PSG have been trying to secure new contracts for superstars Mbappe and Neymar, but progress appears more likely in the case of the Brazil forward.
Mbappe, like fellow Champions League sensation Erling Haaland, continues to be linked with the world’s top clubs.
While Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland’s representatives reportedly met with Barcelona and Real Madrid on Thursday, Mbappe’s actions also added to doubts around his future.
The France forward told RTL constant discussion of his performances in his home country was “tiring”, especially as, playing in Ligue 1, “I’m here all the time”.
“I knew when I signed in Paris that I was going to be in this context,” Mbappe said. “We’ll see after that.”
The 22-year-old added it “of course” would play into his thinking when considering his next move, although no decision has yet been made.
Mbappe said: “If I had moved forward, I would have come to talk about it by now. Of course, when I make my decision, I will come and talk about it.”
These words could reasonably worry PSG coach Pochettino, who relies heavily on Mbappe.
The former Monaco man has 30 goals and nine assists in all competitions this season, his 39 goal involvements ranking fifth across Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues.
But Pochettino said ahead of PSG’s top-of-the-table clash with Lille: “I didn’t listen to what Kylian said. I can’t comment on it and I don’t have an opinion on that.”
Mbappe became the youngest player to reach 100 Ligue 1 goals prior to the international break and has a career-high six league assists against Lille.
Pochettino expects the World Cup winner, netting once every 91.9 minutes this season, to set talk of his future aside and perform again.
“The truth is that he is good, he has a good state of mind and has trained well,” Pochettino said. “He came back ready to help the team.
“We will manage the whole team and not just Kylian in order to achieve our end-of-season goals.
“Things need time to be settled. Kylian is very focused on giving the best for the team. I don’t see any problem with his situation. He will give everything to help the team win.
“I don’t think Kylian’s end of season will be affected by all this. He’s focused on giving his best every training session and every game.”
PSG are without a host of players against Lille, including Marco Verratti, who is set to be evaluated again this weekend ahead of the Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.
But Neymar, restricted to just 19 appearances this season, is ready to have an impact in the run-in.
“The truth is that the international break was important for Neymar,” Pochettino said. “He was able to train at a good level for two weeks.
“Now he has to play. We’re happy with the way he trained. We are pleased with his involvement and improvements in the areas he needs to improve.”
PSG have not lost at home to Lille in the league since April 1996 but, following an away goalless draw, could go two without a win against them for the first time since a run of four games between January 2010 and April 2012.
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