In a highly anticipated press conference at Paris Saint-Germain’s new state-of-the-art training ground, newly appointed head coach Luis Enrique was unveiled alongside club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. The event marked an exciting chapter for the Parisians. However, the focus quickly shifted to the uncertain future of star player and France captain Kylian Mbappé. This comes following a letter sent to PSG from Mbappé explaining he will not extend his contract beyond 2024.
“If Kylian wants to stay, we want him to stay“
Al-Khelaifi’s response to questions regarding Mbappé’s future hinted at the possibility of a potential sale should the 24-year-old choose to wait for a free transfer next summer. This would be if the current France captain doesn’t want to activate the clause that would extend his stay at PSG for another year. While the former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique attempted to evade the direct Mbappé query from French journalists, Al-Khelaifi was more forthcoming:
“My position is very clear. I don’t want to repeat it all the time. If Kylian wants to stay, we want him to stay. But he needs to sign a new contract. We don’t want to lose the best player in the world on a free. That’s impossible. He had said that he would never leave on a free. It’s not my fault that he’s changed his mind now. We don’t want to lose the best player in the world for free. That’s very clear.”
Mbappé’s existing contract, signed in 2022, was initially reported to span three years. However, the third and final year of the deal can only be activated by the player himself. As the end of the month approaches, Mbappé has been given a deadline to make a decision.
Following the press conference, Al-Khelaifi further elaborated on his uncompromising stance in an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien:
“We want him to stay, but he can’t leave for free. That was our verbal agreement, and he expressed it publicly in an interview. So it’s not debatable.”
“I was really shocked to learn that he intended to leave for free. It’s very disappointing because Kylian is a fantastic lad, a real gentleman, and to leave for free, by weakening the biggest French club, is not him. When I received this information, I was shocked and disappointed.”
Are PSG and Mbappé running out of time?
With the transfer window already open, time is of the essence for PSG and Mbappé to find a resolution to this ongoing saga. Al-Khelaifi acknowledged the urgency of the matter and has set a timeframe for the Frenchman to make a commitment to his PSG future:
“That’s why he has to make up his mind next week, or in a fortnight at the most. If he doesn’t want to sign a new contract, the door is open. That’s how it is for him and everyone else. No one is bigger than the club, no player, not even me. That’s very clear.”
As the contractual impasse continues, the football world eagerly awaits Mbappé’s decision, which will have far-reaching implications for both the player and the club. PSG remain determined not to lose their prized asset without compensation, while Mbappé faces the choice of either committing his long-term future to the Parisian giants or exploring other potential destinations.