PSG boss explains why he slammed Kylian Mbappe despite him scoring a hat-trick
Kylian Mbappe has been urged to “do more” by Paris-Saint Germain boss Luis Enrique, despite scoring a hat-trick in their 3-0 win at Reims, as the French superstar’s departure moves another step closer.
The reigning Ligue 1 champions returned to the top of the table for the first time this season with the victory but Enrique was not happy with the team's performance, as Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was called up to make a string of saves. Mbappe was the difference between the teams as he took his tally to 13 goals in 11 league games this season - and 15 in 15 in all competitions.
But the former Spain boss said: “I’m not really happy with Kylian today. I have nothing to say about the goals but he can help the team more in different ways. I am going to watch the match again and talk to him about it first, not you. Kylian is one of the best players in the world but we need more. We want him to do more things. That is my opinion, maybe I am wrong.”
It was still an extraordinary statement about the club’s best player who was the top scorer at the last World Cup - and is out of contract in the summer. Months more of the Mbappe transfer saga is now set to follow. PSG tried to sell Mbappe to Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal for £259million in the summer after the 2018 World Cup winner informed the club he would not be triggering the one-year extension clause in his contract.
The French club left him out of the club summer’s tour to Japan and South Korea and the opening game of the season before a fragile peace saw him reintegrated into the squad in August. Following the departures of Lionel Messi and Neymar, Mbappe is the undisputed superstar in the team and PSG have bought French players like Ousmane Dembele to play alongside him.
But his body language during the Champions League defeat away to AC Milan last week was terrible - Enrique admitted he could have subbed off any of his strikers at half-time - as his contract runs down. Real Madrid or any of the top Premier League clubs - he once claimed he was a Liverpool fan - could sign the 24-year-old on a Bosman transfer next summer.
PSG have long tolerated prima donna behaviour from their big stars while a succession of managers - including Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino - have been sacked. Enrque, who wants more work from Mbappe in build-up play as well as defensively, is clearly not having it.
Mbappe has not spoken publicly about his future since the summer - and refused to address the issue in his post-match interview at Reims. “Have I come to terms with my summer? The most important thing is playing football, you (the media) do the rest well,” he claimed. “I don’t want to talk about it and add fuel to the fire. I think there is already too much talk.”
Speaking to Prime Video about his sixth PSG hat-trick - and first since August 2022 -, the France captain added: “Of course, it feels good to score a hat-trick but the most important thing is to have a good feeling in the game. In all modesty, I don’t need to play well to score, but what I want is to play well and score.”
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As Mbappe left the Stade Auguste-Delaune on Saturday night, he declined to speak to the written press and only told L’Equipe: “I have already spoken. It is enough, no?”
Spanish radio station CadenaSER claimed last week that Real Madrid were cool on signing Mbappe because of his high wage demands - he wants €20m-a-year compared to Jude Bellingham, who earns €9m - and because of the Frenchman’s previous U-turns in leaving PSG. His current deal expires on June 30, 2024.
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