PSG: Mbappe's not going anywhere
Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe reacts during the French Ligue 1 soccer match between PSG and Dijon FCO at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, May 18, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/Julien de Rosa
By Luis Miguel Pascual.
Paris, May 20 (EFE).- A day after striker Kylian Mbappe speculated publicly about leaving Paris Saint-Germain, the club said in no uncertain terms that the 20-year-old Frenchman will be wearing PSG colors next season.
"Strong links united PSG and Kylian Mbappe for two years. And our story will continue next season," the Ligue 1 champions said in a statement.
Seizing on the World Cup winner's expressed desire to lift his game to a higher level, PSG said that every member of the organization has "the same ambition."
"We want to make history in European football, especially on the 50th birthday of PSG. It will be a great moment to write a new part of our club's history together," the statement said. "Everyone will take part in it and it will always be for the good of the group."
PSG spent 180 million euros ($201 million) in 2017 to acquire Mbappe from AS Monaco and the investment has paid dividends, as the budding superstar has scored 59 goals in all competitions.
His 32 goals in Ligue 1 this season - with one match left to play - leave him second only to Barcelona's Lionel Messi (36 goals) in the race for the European Golden Shoe.
"I still believe in the Paris project," Mbappe said on March 10, shortly after PSG's exit from the UEFA Champions League in the round-of-16.
The striker's remarks Sunday, however, indicated some wavering in his commitment to PSG.
"The time has come to assume more responsibilities, in Paris, if possible. It would be a great pleasure. And if it was not in Paris, it could be in elsewhere under a new project," Mbappe said as he accepted awards as Ligue 1's Best Player and Best Young Player of the Year.
At the head of the list of teams interested in Mbappe is Real Madrid, whose coach, French legend Zinedine Zidane, does nothing to hide his admiration for the young forward.
Between March and Sunday, Mbappe saw his role with PSG expand as the squad's top strikers, Neymar and Edinson Cavani, were sidelined with injuries.
Hoisting the 2018 FIFA World Cup gave Mbappe a taste for glory and he is determined to go on to greater triumphs.
Mbappe may bristle at what he sees as efforts by PSG to hold him back, especially when the most successful club in Europe comes knocking on his door in pursuit of a player who can be the cornerstone of a new project at Real Madrid.