Kylian Mbappe is pushing to leave Paris Saint-Germain(PSG) in January, as his relationship with the club has broken down, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
The news comes just five months after Mbappe, 23, signed a new contract with PSG, with sources saying he feels at odds with the club’s direction on and off the pitch. He is open to any destination, but signing for Real Madrid would be his preference, sources added.
There has been no official comment from PSG, but sources have said the club want to keep Mbappe and intend to resolve the situation after Tuesday night’s Champions League game against Benfica, which ended in a 1-1 draw with the France international starting and scoring for the hosts.
Sources said Mbappe thinks promises made by sporting director Luis Campos, president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and manager Christophe Galtier have not been kept. Sources close to Mbappe say he made a mistake by agreeing a new deal to stay at the club in May.
Speaking before PSG’s draw with Benfica, Campos said Mbappe had not asked him or Al-Khelaifi to leave the club in January.
“I am very surprised because I spend all my days with Kylian Mbappe, and he never once asked me or the president to leave in January,” Campos told RMC Sport.
“We have to be very clear that this isn’t a declaration — it is news that has come out a few hours before a very important match against Benfica.
“As for me, I have a three year contract at PSG and I am very happy to be here, in this place — and I work everyday so that I can fulfil my ambitions at the end of my contract.”
Sergio Ramos wouldn’t be drawn on the speculation regarding his PSG teammate following Tuesday’s match and urged caution about reports of Mbappe’s club future.
“I see him [Mbappe] very happy,” Ramos said. “I enjoy playing with him and his friendship. If he has to say something he will say it. And he just renewed his contract. We have to stay away from the reports that are going around since we don’t know if they are true”
One of the promises was that Mbappe would play with a No. 9 next to him in attack who could play as a pivot, but this has not happened. The World Cup winner with France was also told that PSG would recruit another centre-back, which did not happen in the summer, while Mbappe’s relationship with Neymar has deteriorated, sources said.
Sources told ESPN the Ligue 1 champions were open to offers for Neymar in the summer but they could not find a club for him.
The three-year deal Mbappe signed in May made him the highest-paid player in world football, according to sources, and included a sizeable signing-on fee.
According to Forbes, Mbappe will earn $128 million for the 2022-23 season — a record for the magazine’s annual rankings. His appearance at the top of football’s rich list represented the first time a player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo had reached No.1 in eight years.
Mbappe voiced his concerns in September after France beat Austria in the UEFA Nations League, saying he was having more fun playing for the national team because he had more freedom than at PSG.
“‘What they ask of me here is different,” Mbappe said. “Here, I have much more freedom than at PSG.
“The coach knows that there is a ‘9,’ like [Olivier] Giroud, and so I can move and go into space. In Paris it is different — they ask me to play pivot, although I enjoy [playing] everywhere.”
Galtier appeared to acknowledge there were issues with Mbappe in a news conference on Monday, but after Tuesday’s match with Benfica he said: “I haven’t talked to him about it. My goal was to stay focused on the game. Tonight he gave everything and he showed he is a great player.”