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SOCCER

PSG chief Al Khelaifi: “Sign Cristiano? Impossible”

Nasser Al Khelaifi, president of PSG, gave an interview to Sky Sports in which he discusses the top players at the World Cup.

Doha (Qatar)Update:
PSG chief Al Khelaifi: “Sign Cristiano? Impossible”
Jean CatuffeGetty

PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi spoke in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports in which he confirmed that they will try to tie Lionel Messi down to a new deal.

He sees the Argentine as “happy” in Paris, and he could also try to sign Marcus Rashford, who finishes his contract with Manchester United next June. He also described the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo as “impossible” and added that Kylian Mbappé is “happy in Paris”.

“Messi is very happy, you can see that with the national team. If a player is not happy, you will see that his performance is not good for the national team. This season he has had a fantastic run with us, he has scored a lot of goals and provided a lot of assists for the national team and for the club,” the Qatari said of Messi before confirming that the two sides will sit down after the World Cup to discuss his renewal.

No PSG move for Ronaldo

On Cristiano Ronaldo, the PSG chief said: “He is a legend, he is a star. As a footballer, I admire him and I love him as a player and a professional. A fantastic player. At 37 years old, he’s doing incredible. But all the clubs want to sign him too. The problem today for us is that we have the position covered, so it’s not easy to replace the position we have with him. It would be impossible, honestly, for us”.

Of Mbappé, who is rumoured to want to leave Paris, he acknowledged that he sees him as “happy” to have renewed with PSG. “For me he is a top player and a top human being, a professional. So for me it was fundamental that he stayed and that he didn’t leave for free. That’s another important point, but as I’ve always said, I always trusted him, I trusted his family, because we created a special relationship with the player and with them, and that’s why... he’s Parisian, he’s French and he’s always proud to be in France. He’s going to play against England and that’s what it’s all about. He represents France and his national team, but also his club”.

He went on to criticise the Super League, adding: “When they announced the Super League, everybody was against it: the clubs, the fans, all the stakeholders. It’s really not something that anyone can consider because, I will repeat, it’s not a legal contract, it’s a social contract. It would be impossible for them. I think they know that, but they want to get as much as they can from the ECA (European Club Association) or UEFA just as a kind of negotiation, to use it against us. But it’s very clear, they have nothing to negotiate”.

Finally he spoke about Rashford, who was linked with PSG in the summer and will be free in June. Al Khelaifi confirmed he could try to sign him in the summer. “We don’t hide the interest. We spoke to him. But the timing was not good for both parties. Maybe in the summer, why not? Today if he is a free agent of course we can talk to him directly, but we are not going to talk to him now. Let him focus on the World Cup. Then in January, if we are interested, we will talk to him”.

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