Paris Saint-Germain have issued a response to Kylian Mbappe’s comments about his future by assuring he will remain with the club next season.
Mbappe raised eyebrows after accepting the awards for Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year when he told reporters he had reached a “turning point” in his career.
The 20-year-old forward claimed to want greater responsibility in the future, but admitted it could come at PSG or “elsewhere for a new project.”
However, PSG have reacted strongly to the attacker’s comments and declared Mbappe will remain with the club next season in order to potentially make the club’s 50th anniversary a campaign to remember.
“Strong links have united PSG and Kylian Mbappe for two years and that same story will continue next season,” PSG wrote in a statement published on social media.
“With a shared ambition to mark history in European football, after 50 years since PSG was founded, we have a chance to write a big page in history together and each major player will have to play his part, always working for the team.”
Mbappe emerged as one of Europe’s brightest talents during Monaco’s surprising run to the Ligue 1 title and Champions League semi-finals in 2016-17.
But his star has only grown brighter in the two seasons since, as he starred for both club and country.
After a reported €180 million (£158m/$201m) move to PSG, Mbappe scored 13 goals in Ligue 1 in 2017-18 to help the club back to the domestic title though they again suffered disappointment in Europe with a defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
During the summer, Mbappe was an integral part of France’s squad as they won their second World Cup, with the youngster taking home the tournament’s award for best young player.
Mbappe carried his brilliant form in Russia over to league play this year, exploding for 32 goals in Ligue 1, finishing as the top scorer by 10 goals over second-placed Nicolas Pepe.
In the process, Mbappe earned himself the inaugural Kopa Trophy for best player age 21 or younger as well as impressive fourth-placed finish in the 2018 Ballon d’Or.
His success as seen him reportedly draw the interest of many of Europe’s other top sides, with Real Madrid, coached by France legend Zinedine Zidane, as a often-discussed landing spot.
Such speculation only has grown more fervent with his comments on Sunday, after PSG again suffered disappointment in Europe this year, falling to Manchester United in the Champions League last-16, despite an Mbappe brace at Old Trafford.
The club also suffered domestically as well, as while they were able to retain their Ligue 1 crown, they met defeat in both the Coupe de la Ligue and the Coupe de France.
EARLIER: Kylian Mbappe hints he could leave PSG
Kylian Mbappe accepted his award as the Ligue 1 MVP, dedicated it to Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and then mentioned he could be off soon to another club.
Yes, following Mbappe accepting his award, the French star and World Cup winner stated he hoped he could continue his career at PSG but left open the possibility of moving to another club that allows him to take the next steps in his career.
“This is a very important moment for me, I arrive at a first or second turn of my career,” Mbappe said, via L’equipe. “I’ve discovered a lot of things here, I feel that maybe it’s time to have more responsibility. I hope it may be at Paris Saint-Germain, it would be with great pleasure, or perhaps elsewhere for a new project.”
Mbappe later clarified his comments, stating he was looking for more responsibility. “If it’s at PSG, that’s good. If it is elsewhere, it will be elsewhere for a new challenge.
“For me, it was time to say it. I am someone whole: when I say something, I think it. For me, it was the right time to say it. That’s it, I said it!”
It’s unclear why exactly Mbappe used this moment to put some pressure on PSG. Perhaps its to remind them that the club needs to be successful in its transfer endeavors this summer, so it can compete deep into the UEFA Champions League. With Neymar injured and a central midfield ravaged by injuries, PSG capitulated and somehow fell to Manchester United in the Champions League Round of 16, grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.
There’s no reason why PSG can’t dominate the Champions League like it does Ligue 1, especially with the attacking trident of Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani. But of course, against better competition, the inferiority in mentality and in talent along the backline has started to show.
So, where could Mbappe go? There’s very few places that could effectively match both his salary and his competitive goals. It’s the usual suspects, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and perhaps Manchester City, should they be interested in it. More recently, while Man City has spent big, it’s been on signing multiple players on $50 million transfers, as opposed to one player on a $200 million transfer, for example.
It’s unlikely, but an intriguing option would be Liverpool. If the club somehow came up with the funds, imagine Mbappe playing alongside Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, with Roberto Firmino coming in to spell either of the three over the course of the season. Mbappe would likely make up that one-point difference between Liverpool and Man City, and if that’s what it takes for Liverpool to finally win the title, it could be worth the initial massive investment.