Paris Saint-Germain have rejected a €160 million offer from Real Madrid for Kylian Mbappe but the French club’s sporting director Leonardo on Wednesday admitted that they will not be able to keep the World Cup winner “if he wants to leave”.
“Our position has always been the same, to keep Kylian and extend his contract,” Leonardo told several media including AFP as he discussed the future of Mbappe, whose current contract expires at the end of this season.
It emerged on Tuesday that Real had made a bid for Mbappe, a player they have courted ever since he was a young boy, was invited with his parents to take in a game at the Santiago Bernabeu and taken to meet Zinedine Zidane at their training ground.
The offer has been knocked back by PSG, who say it is “not enough” for someone who arrived from Monaco in 2017 in a 180 million-euro deal.
Real, though, are laying the ground to bring in Mbappe now, even though he will be able to sign as a free agent next summer if he does not extend his contract in Paris.
“If a player wants to leave, he will leave. The club, the project is bigger than any one person,” said Leonardo, the Brazilian, as he slammed the Spanish giants for being “disrespectful” in their approach of the 22-year-old.
“It is a strategy, to get a no from us so they can say they tried everything.
“They have been behaving like this for two years. It’s disrespectful, inappropriate, illegal, and for us it is unacceptable.”
The offer comes with just six days to go before the summer transfer window in Europe closes on August 31 and with PSG desperate to keep hold of a player they still consider their crown jewel despite the presence of Neymar and, now, of Lionel Messi in the French capital.
The uncertainty over Mbappe’s future has gone on for months, and at the end of last season the striker hinted he would only commit his future to his hometown team if they showed sufficient ambition in the transfer market.