Kylian Mbappe wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain but Real Madrid are behaving “illegally” in their pursuit of the forward, claims Leonardo, the French club’s sporting director.
Mbappe has just entered the final year of his contract at PSG, and has yet to reach an agreement with the club over an extension, leading to speculation that he is angling for a big-money move.
Real has been touted as the most likely next destination for the 22-year-old, with Goal reporting that they lodged a €160 million (£137m/$188m) bid earlier this week, and Leonardo has now given an update on the situation.
The PSG chief has told RMC Sport: “Kylian Mbappe wants to leave, that seems clear. If Real Madrid are making an offer, that seems clear… Me, I am giving a position, that, I think, is clear for everyone.
“We cannot, the week before the end of the window, change our plans. If he wants to leave, we will not hold him back, but on our terms.”
Leonardo went on to address Real’s reported offer for Mbappe, which he believes is merely an underhanded tactic designed to improve their chances of signing him on a free transfer in 2022.
He also confirmed that the World Cup winner has rejected two renewal proposals from PSG, adding: “Our position has always been to keep Kylian, to extend his contract, that has always been our aim and that is still the case.
“We made two significant offers to Kylian: one at the level of the top players in our squad two months ago and one above that of those players very recently. We want to prove to him that he is an important player, at the centre of our project, but not above the project.
“In terms of our position on Real, it seems like a strategy to try to get a no from us, to show that they have tried everything and to wait for a year to get him for free. For the last 2 years, Real Madrid have been behaving like this, it is not correct, illegal even, because they contacted the player. It is unacceptable for us, because it is not correct.
“It is proof of the strategy: an offer comes one year before the end of his contract and seven days before the end of the window. They want us to reject it to show to Kylian that they tried everything and to start negotiating for next year.”
Leonardo says Real’s opening bid falls well below PSG’s current valuation of Mbappe, who initially moved to Parc des Princes from Monaco for €180 million (£154m/$211m) in the summer of 2017.
Asked if the Ligue 1 giants have responded to the offer, he said: “Yes, we said no verbally. But we will not hold anyone back. If someone wants to leave and our conditions are met, we will see.
“But we have created a dream with our players this summer and we will not let anyone destroy it. We consider the offer to be very far from what Kylian represents today. We also owe part of this money to Monaco and we consider that the offer is not enough.
“I cannot confirm the numbers [of €160m], but it is around that. It is less than what we paid for him. But it is above all the way in which Real Madrid have gone about it that we do not like.”
Leonardo also revealed that Mbappe gave his word to the club that he would not run his contract down to its expiry date, as he continued: “With Kylian, I have spoken a lot, he has always said the same things to us. Kylian has always promised that he would not leave the club for free. That is always what he has said to us.”
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