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LIGUE 1

PSG hold two cards to keep Kylian Mbappé in Paris

The 24-year-old is out of contract next summer but the Paris Saint-Germain hierarchy are desperate to keep the Parisian star at the club.

París (Francia)Update:
Can Mbappe break Ligue 1 scoring record?
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In less than a month, Kylian Mbappé will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with teams outside of France.

The Frenchman signed for Paris Saint Germain in 2018 and has hit an astonishing 230 goals in all competitions, becoming the club’s all-time top goalscorer. But despite the prospect of Mbappé leaving Paris next summer club president Nasser Al Khelaïfi is in no rush to enter into renewal talks.

Reports in Paris suggest that player and club will sit down for negotiations in the first quarter of 2024. Al Khelaïfi believes that he holds two cards that could convince the 24-year-old to stay.

Mbappé eyes Olympics starring role

The first is the possibility of representing his nation at the 2024 Olympic Games on home soil. The host city is Paris, Mbappé's birthplace, and he would be able to feature for France as one of three players over the age of 23 in the squad.

However the Olympics Games is not a designated FIFA date, meaning that clubs are not obliged to release players for the games. The Games will be played from 26 July to 11 August, meaning that Mbappé would miss the final weeks of preseason and the start of the 2024/25 season. It remains to be seen if Real Madrid, long viewed as the Frenchman’s most likely next destination, would allow their new superstar to compete at the Olympics.

Kylian Mbappe could make history by leading France to Olympics glory next year.
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Kylian Mbappe could make history by leading France to Olympics glory next year.MAURICE VAN STEENEFE

PSG, however, would be far more willing to allow Mbappé to compete in France 2024. But Mbappé admitted in a recent interview that the final decision lays in the hands of his club.

“The decision to go to the Olympics Games is one for my employers. If they decide that I cannot go, I will respect the decision,” he said.

Can Mbappé break Ligue 1 scoring record?

Last weekend Mbappé scored again in PSG’s 2-0 victory over Le Havre. That strike took his Ligue 1 tally for the season to 15 goals in just 13 appearances. He has now scored 179 goals in French league soccer, placing him in the top ten of the all-time scoring charts.

Mbappé turns 25 later this month and is in a very strong position to surpass the Ligue 1 scoring record. The milestone mark is the 299 goals scored by Argentine forward Delio Onnis, who starred for Monaco and Tour in the 1970s and 1980s.

Reports from Paris suggest that the club may try to use that target to keep Mbappé in the French capital for longer, despite the fact that it will likely take at least four seasons to reach Onnis. The French league typically struggles to keep star players, but Mbappé has so far resisted countless advances from Real Madrid and has a real affinity with the city of Paris.

For now it looks like Mbappé's future will be decided in early 2024, when he sits down to talk with the club. PSG are yet to secure passage to the knock-out stages of the Champions League and their result against Borussia Dortmund next week could well have a bearing on Mbappé’s decision.

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