Kylian Mbappe said he was “very happy” to stay at Paris Saint-Germain after the club president announced on Saturday that the World Cup winner has refused Real Madrid a stay in France until 2025.
“I’m very happy to stay in France, in Paris, in my city,” Mbappe told supporters on the Parc des Princes pitch before PSG took on Metz in their final Ligue 1 game of the season.
Standing next to PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Mbappe said: “I hope I can continue doing what I love the most: winning football matches and winning trophies with all of you.”
Mbappe marked his announcement by netting twice in five minutes to take his total league goals for the season to 27, putting him on track to finish Ligue 1 top scorer for a fourth successive season.
Mbappe’s decision ends months of speculation surrounding arguably the hottest property in world football.
Real Madrid had been chasing Mbappe for months and reportedly reached a deal with him months ago for a move to Spain which reportedly included a €150m signing fee.
Mbappe had made no secret of his desire to one day play for Real, who face Liverpool in the Champions League final in Paris next weekend after securing a 35th Spanish title.
But PSG, who won the Ligue 1 title for a record tenth time but infuriated their die-hard fans with their limp exit to Real in the Champions League round of 16, fought to retain its greatest asset.
‘INSULT AT FOOTBALL’
Spanish La Liga president Javier Tebas complained bitterly on Saturday that the massive financial resources of Qatari owners PSG had proved instrumental in persuading Mbappe to stay in France.
“What PSG are doing by renewing Mbappe with big money… after recording losses of 700 million euros in recent seasons and a wage bill of more than 600 million euros, is an INSULT for football,” Tebas tweeted.
LaLiga announced in a press release that it was launching an official complaint against the actions of PSG “with UEFA, the French administrative and tax authorities and the competent decision-making bodies of the European Union”.
In his tweet, Tebas also called Khelaifi a ‘danger to European football’.
Mbappe will now line up next season alongside Neymar and likely Lionel Messi – if he stays at the club – to help PSG in their long quest to clinch the Champions League, the title that has so far eluded them. .
Mbappe joined PSG on a season-long loan from Monaco in August 2017 which turned into a permanent deal worth €180m.
He helped the club win four Ligue 1 titles in five seasons.
In this season’s Champions League exit against Real, Mbappe scored in both legs of the draw but couldn’t prevent PSG from losing 3-2 on aggregate.
He will be a key figure when France try to defend the World Cup in November and December.
*Courtesy of AFP