Real Madrid’s 160m euros bid for Kylian Mbappe has left Paris Saint Germain fuming with sporting director Leonardo accusing the Spanish club of an illegal approach and a lack of respect.
But the club’s sporting director seemed to leave the door open for a deal to be struck if Madrid increase their bid and pay more for Mbappe than PSG paid Monaco when he was 18.
In a interview with Marca, L’Equipe, Le Parisien, the agency AFP and radio RMC, Leonard said: ‘PSG’s position has always been to keep Kylian. That’s been the aim for the last two years and it remains unchanged.
‘We made him a big offer two months ago – at the level of the best players – and another even more recently which was even higher, but this is a strategy of Real Madrid, to have the name of one of our players.
‘For the last two years the behavior of Madrid has been incorrect, illegal, getting in contact with his representatives, unacceptable, completely incorrect towards us. And the proof of this strategy is to present an offer seven days before the market shuts and a year before the end of his contract. It seems like a strategy that suggests they have tried everything.
‘It’s not the sum [offered] which we believe to be a long way from what we were thinking. And we are not going to sell a player for less than we paid for him when he was 18. We have to give a certain amount to Monaco and the offer is not sufficient.’
That last sentence will give Madrid fans some hope although the club have briefed that they will not be making a second improved bid.
Leonardo continued: ‘I’m not going to get into figures but the 160m euros is less than we paid for him. But this goes further than this.
‘It’s the way things have been done. It’s disrespectful. We have done everything for Kylian to be with us and one week [from close of market] we are not going to change plans. If a player wants to go he goes but under our conditions.’
Leonardo also blasted back at the suggestion that PSG had promised the player he could leave in the last year of his contract if he received an offer.
He said: ‘How would we make a promise like that. Madrid have used the Spanish press and they have spoken to Kylian brazenly, it’s very disrespectful and illegal.’
Asked if the club was upset with Mbappe, Leonardo said: ‘We are not happy. But nothing and nobody is going to stop us from fulfilling our dream. There is a contract with a year left on it and an offer that is insufficient.’
There is no plan B. We have a very positive atmosphere at the club and everyone is excited about the project. We have never thought about a plan without Mbappe.’
Not everything Leonardo said seemed to rule out Mbappe’s departure this summer. He added: ‘I have always said that he would not leave the club on a free. We have spoken with him a lot and with his family and representatives. We have never opened the door to him [for him to leave]. If someone wants to go, we are not going to say no, but he will leave on our terms. We will see what happens.’