REAL MADRID

Mbappé tells Pochettino he doesn't want PSG renewal

French superstar Kylian Mbappé has joined up with the squad for pre-season training but he has made it clear to the Argentine coach what his Madrid plans are.

0

It would appear that ‘Operation Mbappé’ has finally entered the home straight. And it has done so as the star player returned to work, joining his Paris Saint-Germain teammates - most of them at least - for pre-season training. As we previously reported, Kylian Mbappé wasn’t actually meant to return to the fold until this coming Monday but he was keen to get back early, and is already getting down to business on the pitches at the Cité Sportif de Loges.

Mbappé back for PSG, but thinking of Madrid

On Thursday his presence was limited to administrative activities, taking samples, being weighing, etc, but AS has learned that he also had time to meet up for a short while with manager Mauricio Pochettino. In that informal chat, the player made it clear that, although he is prepared to accept that PSG do not want to sell him this summer and that he will have to play for them in the upcoming season, his intention is firm. He will not renew and he plans to leave, if not this summer, then the following one.

Mbappé's relationship with Pochettino is excellent. Since the Argentine took over in the PSG dugout, the forward has been a devotee of his methods of working, so much so that it was one of the reasons Los Blancos enquired about the availability of the former Tottenham boss when Zinedine Zidane’s departure was assured. Pochettino, who has extended his own contract in Paris, has been very sympathetic to Mbappé’s desires after hearing of his plans to leave the club for Real Madrid, but also knows it is out of his hands.

PSG standing firm with new season looming

The hierarchy at the Ligue 1 giants have known the player’s intentions for some time and had planned a further negotiation meeting with him after his return from a disappointing Euro 2020 campaign. That discussion, where again they will focus on encouraging him to renew rather than discussing a potential Madrid move, is yet to be scheduled.

All parties involved in Operation Mbappé understand that this is now a definitive phase. The timescales post-summer commitments are clear. PSG have their first official match on 1 August - the French Super Cup against league champions Lille - but there is almost no chance that Mbappé will ready for that. He will be expected to get himself sharp for the first league match, against Troyes on 8 August. As the days go by, Madrid will find it ever more difficult to get Mbappé out of his current situation, unless PSG change their stance.