Nasser Al-Khelaifi: ‘PSG will not let Kylian Mbappe leave for free’

Nasser Al-Khelaifi warns Kylian Mbappe that he will not be allowed to leave Paris Saint-Germain for free in the wake of his refusal to extend his contract.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has affirmed that the French champions will not allow Kylian Mbappe to leave the club on a free transfer next year.

The 24-year-old was seemingly set for a switch to Real Madrid last year, only to snub Carlo Ancelotti‘s side and agree a new two-year deal at the Parc des Princes with the option of an additional 12 months.

However, the French champions have been left aghast after receiving a letter from Mbappe confirming that he would not take up the option to extend his contract until 2025, meaning that he could walk out of the door for nothing this time next year.

Despite his refusal to trigger the clause, Mbappe has insisted that he wants to stay put in Paris for the 2023-24 season, and he plans to make a decision on his future next summer.

On the other hand, PSG are reportedly working to sell the France international this summer, and a “shocked” and “disappointed” Al-Khelaifi has ruled out the possibility of Mbappe departing for nothing in 2024.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi pictured with Kylian Mbappe on May 21, 2022© Reuters

Speaking to a press conference at Wednesday’s unveiling of new head coach Luis Enrique, the PSG president said: “We want him to stay but he can’t leave for free.

“There was a verbal agreement and he had discussed it in an interview. And I was really shocked to learn that he had decided to leave for free.

“It’s very disappointing because Mbappe is a fantastic boy, a real gentleman and to leave for free, weakening the biggest club in France, it’s not him. When I heard the news, I was shocked and disappointed.”

Al-Khelaifi also set Mbappe a two-week deadline to make his final decision, and he warned the ex-Monaco starlet that “nobody” is bigger than the club.

“It’s for him to decide for himself next week, or at most in the next two weeks. And if he does not want to sign a new contract, the door is open. It’s like that for him and everyone else. Nobody is bigger than the club, no player, not even me. It’s very clear,” Al-Khelaifi added.

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring on April 21, 2023© Reuters

Despite their repeated failures to sign Mbappe in the past, Real Madrid are still considered the only realistic candidates for the striker’s signature as they seek a long-term successor to Karim Benzema.

However, Los Blancos have already signed Joselu and Jude Bellingham this summer, and in the hope of bringing Mbappe to Madrid on a free transfer in 2024, president Florentino Perez has claimed that no more signings will be made this summer.

Manchester United has also been touted as a potential destination if Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani wins the takeover race for the Red Devils, but both he and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are being left frustrated at the slow-moving process.

Mbappe enjoyed another excellent individual season in 2022-23, netting 43 goals and providing 10 assists in 44 games as he surpassed Edinson Cavani to become PSG’s all-time leading goalscorer.

The 24-year-old now has 212 goals and 98 assists under his belt from 260 games in a PSG jersey, and Arsenal are also alleged to be considering a shock approach for the attacker next year.

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