Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe has confirmed that he requested a move away from Paris Saint-Germain this summer. Real Madrid are longtime admirers of the 22-year-old and tried to land the France international this summer, but the Ligue 1 giants dug their heels in to keep their superstar despite his contract expiring at the end of this season.
Speaking with RMC Sport, Mbappe confirms that he asked PSG to leave Parc des Princes this past transfer window and had hoped that a significant fee would enable Les Parisiens to adequately replace him.
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"I asked to leave," he said. "From the moment that I did not want to extend, I wanted PSG to get a transfer fee so that they could find a quality replacement. PSG is a club that has given me a lot. I have always been happy over the years that I have spent here, and I still am happy."
"I announced it early enough for the club to react," he added. "I wanted for everyone to come out of this strongly, to work hand in hand, to find a good deal and I respected that. I said that if you do not want me to go, then I will stay."
According to Mbappe, who can potentially negotiate with new clubs from this coming January, he asked PSG to leave back in July and not in August as has been made out in recent months. Also, the change in negotiations being handled by sporting director Leonardo to chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi was not down to his relationship with the Brazilian.
"People say that I turned down six or seven extension offers and that I did not want to speak with Leonardo anymore," said the former AS Monaco man. That is totally untrue. I was told: 'Kylian, now you speak with the president.'
"It is not for me to judge but my position was clear," added Mbappe when asked by former PSG player Jerome Rothen if it was because Leonardo was judged incapable of striking a deal. "I said that I wanted to leave, and I said it early enough.
"Personally, I do not really appreciate it being said that 'left it until the last week of August' as that sounds thief-like. I said at the end of July that I wanted to leave."
Speaking separately with L'Equipe, Mbappe shed more light on his failed Real move over the summer and insisted that he would never have forced PSG's hand -- despite the fact that Messi's arrival did not change his stance and that he mourned his non-arrival at Santiago Bernabeu.
"No, clashing would have been ungrateful towards a club that has given me so much over four years," he said. "I always want to play and show that I am a top player, that not even a failed transfer can affect me and that I can make a difference until the end. I do not make decisions on impulse. I had made my decisions after thinking long and hard about it. At the time, I was disappointed. However, I quickly moved on. Unfortunately, I got injured during the internationals and returned. I had the time to mourn while there were no games."
Mbappe has been heckled by fans since the transfer window closed and he admitted that he might have felt the same in their position, especially after Leonardo and Al-Khelaifi's very public comments.
"I view the booing differently," he said. "I told myself that I would have done the same in their position. I took it as a sign of affection. They did not want me to leave which means that I am more important. When your president tells the entire world that you are not leaving and not going for free, I will not lie that was a bit worried at the time. I asked myself what will happen if I do not go on a free. After that, you tell yourself that it is their way of showing their attachment. It means that the club likes me and will not let me go."
Mbappe admitted that he felt as if his time with PSG was over and that he had gone as far as possible with the French giants with Real the only destination in his mind.
"I thought that my adventure was over with PSG," he told L'Equipe. "I wanted to discover something new. I had been in the french league six or seven years and given what we tried, I think I have done it well. Everyone is free to draw their own conclusions, but that was mine. Leaving was the next logical step. I am attached to Paris and if I had left, it would have only been to go to Real. I stayed and I am happy. At no point will you hear me saying 'you did not let me leave, so I will take it easy.' With regards to my contract, we have not discussed a renewal for a month and a half, two months -- since I said I wanted to go."
Mbappe also played down the possibility that he has made a final decision on his future, hinting that his stance could change despite the fact that he wanted out just a few weeks ago.
"I have been in football long enough to know that yesterday's truth is not necessarily today's or tomorrow's," he said. "If I was told that Messi would join PSG, I would not have believed it. You never know what will happen. Most of all, I had to explain myself. I had to end the silence as I said I would. I owed it to the fans. Now that summer is over, I had to clarify some things. This time seems right.
"I want to get rid of this label that I am the sort of guy who controls his career with a plan. Every play at any level has aspirations. I do not like the label of a guy who follows a strict plan. No career is that straightforward. We are far from me staying seeing as I wanted to leave over the summer. I will not be hypocritical and send out a plea. My ambitions were clear this summer. Right now, my future is not my priority. I have already wasted a lot of energy this summer and it is draining."
Mbappe is linking up with the France squad this week for the UEFA Nations League final four in Italy while he and his PSG teammates just lost 2-0 away at Stade Rennais for their first defeat of the Ligue 1 season just days after beating Manchester City by the same score in UEFA Champions League Group A. You can catch PSG's Champions League matches on Paramount+.