French president confirms “advising” Kylian Mbappe before Real Madrid rejection

French president Emmanuel Macron has confirmed he talked to Kylian Mbappe to “advise” him on his future before the striker penned a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe has opted to sign a three-year contract extension with the Ligue 1 champions, keeping him in the French capital until 2025. It means he will not be joining Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer, as many had expected – with suggestions that he had given his word to the Spanish giants that he would be joining them this year.

It comes less than a year after the French club rejected a world record transfer offer from Los Blancos for the striker, whose contract at the Parc des Princes expires on 30 June. Last month, the striker said that the decision on his future will be announced “in a matter of days” and it subsequently brought an end to a long-running saga.

Mbappe was said to have a verbal agreement in place to join Madrid earlier this season and the striker had hinted at a move to the Spanish capital while a recent interview suggested that he had been open to leaving France. However, that move did not materialise and he has now penned a lucrative deal in Paris.

Multiple reports had suggested that French president Macron had attempted to persuade Mbappe – with whom he has a friendship – to remain in Paris and reject the approach from the Spanish capital. Earlier this year, a report in El Mundo said that Macron and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy had both spoken to Mbappe about his future – urging him to stay at the Parc des Princes.

That report claimed that the moves had political motivations due to the power and influence of PSG’s Qatari ownership in France. Sarkozy was a key player in helping ensure that the Middle East nation won the race to host the 2022 World Cup over a decade ago, at the same time in which the Qatari-linked ownership completed their purchase of PSG.

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Macron and Mbappe have spoken frequently with the French president a big football fan
Macron and Mbappe have spoken frequently with the French president a big football fan

Macron has now confirmed he spoke “in an informal and friendly way” to the striker before he took a decision over his future: “Yes, it is true that he had a conversation with Kylian Mbappe before he made a firm decision about his future.

“In that talk, I limited myself to advising him, in a totally informal way, to stay in France. I think it is my responsibility, as president, to defend the country when asked in an informal and friendly way.”

Mbappe enjoyed his most impressive campaign to date with Les Parisiens last season, netting 39 goals in 46 appearances. The Frenchman has now bagged 171 goals across five seasons at the club – and he looks set to remain in Paris for the years to come.

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