Thursday, June 30, 2022

Mbappe stays at PSG: ´We´re keeping the best player in the world´, says Al-Khelaifi

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 May 2022

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Paris Saint-Germain are “keeping the best player in the world” having convinced Kylian Mbappe to remain with the club, according to president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Mbappe had widely been expected to join Real Madrid when his previous contract expired at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

However, prior to PSG’s final game of the season against Metz, reports emerged he had in fact decided to take up PSG’s offer of a new contract and remain in the French capital.

His mother and agent confirmed on Friday that agreements had been reached with both clubs and, before Saturday’s game, it was confirmed Mbappe would be staying put on a three-year deal.

Mbappe was paraded on the pitch before the game at Parc des Princes, with a “2025” shirt, and subsequently scored a hat-trick as PSG rounded off a title-winning Ligue 1 season with a 5-0 rout.

That treble took his tally for the season to 39 in all competitions. Only two players in Europe’s top-five leagues, Robert Lewandowski (50) and Karim Benzema (44), have scored more.

But, with 21 assists to his name, no player in the top-five leagues registered more goal involvements than Mbappe’s 60.

Speaking at a media conference on Monday, Al-Khelaifi said: “Kylian has stayed at PSG for the next three seasons. It’s very important for us, Ligue 1 and France.

“This choice is a very strong sign, we are keeping the best player in the world. He stays here because Paris puts him in a position to achieve his sporting goals: win, win and win.”

Reports have suggested Mbappe will earn a €100million a year salary and has received a €150m signing bonus.

Additionally, there has been speculation he will help decide the coach, with Mauricio Pochettino’s future in doubt, have a say in the appointment of a sporting director and approve transfers.

Asked about his reported powers, Al-Khelaifi did not directly address the question, replying: “I’m going to be very honest with you: from day one we talk about football with his family.

“That’s what I like about him, we always talk about football. When we come here, we come here because it’s Paris and he’s coming to win a lot of trophies.”

However, Al-Khelaifi suggested Madrid could have offered Mbappe more than what they are paying him.

“We never gave the figures, but it was not the most important, the most important was the sporting project. The money, the club in Spain could have paid more.

“We weren’t sure, but we always believed in Kylian, in his family.

“We have built something very strong between us since day one. Maybe you don’t understand it now but you will understand it later that it’s positive for the club, the championship, France.”

Responding to criticism of the deal from LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who labelled it an “insult to football”, Al-Khelaifi said: “Our Ligue 1 president is Vincent Labrune. He can answer you better.

“But it may be a good thing if Ligue 1 is doing better than LaLiga. We have respect for everyone. We are focused on our club, our league, our best player in the world, that’s the most important thing for me.”

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SoccerNews

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