PSG’s Leonardo on Kylian Mbappé renewal: “It’s not about the money.”

In an interview published in today’s L’Équipe, Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo notably discussed the future of Kylian Mbappé.

The former midfielder denies a concrete offer has been made to the World Cup winner, but that the financial side of a renewal is the least important aspect – in the wake of Le Parisien‘s report of a €50m/year offer.

“We haven’t made any precise offer. There is an important element [to keep in mind] – I think the last thing we’ll put on the contract is the salary. We want to place him in the best conditions for him to be the best player possible.”

“We’ve practically never [spoken about money], because it’s not about that. Kylian has such a high value that I think he’s calm about that – it’s secondary. I think that finding the figure will take two minutes at the end.”

“[On whether he knows what Mbappé wants in order to stay] Increasingly so. It’s a question of perception. When a French player starts out, the objective is to go play abroad. It’s not a surprise that the majority of the 1998 World Cup-winning team played abroad. It’s the same in 2018, Kylian was the only one in France’s starting XI who was playing in France. Pogba and Griezmann have never played in France, Zidane spent most of his career abroad.”

“But at the time, you didn’t have a club the size of PSG. We aren’t a selling club, and that changes your mindset. Now, I think that Kylian really has a lot to reflect on. The feeling on Saturday at the stadium was amazing [Mbappé double to beat Saint-Étienne]. Something is being created, not just for him. I’m not here to fawn over them but other clubs don’t have ultras like ours. It can play a part.”

“[That he wants to be at the centre of a project] is a feeling, made up of an accumulation of small things. It’s up to us to understand him and know what he needs at each instant. When you get to a team with maybe the best player in history, Neymar, and him, maybe you can tell yourself – who is first, who is second, etc. But there is a harmony, a respect between them which is being built up as well.”

“We haven’t neglected him. There’s a journey, and you have to understand him. There is a reality. Kylian is the best player in the world right now. Messi has always been at that level, and for me is still there, but it makes sense that others who arrive, who slowly… It’s not a case of judging who’s better. One is 23, the other’s 34.”

“[On the chances he would give of him renewing] I wouldn’t be able to say, but we have our chances. As long as he’s not signed elsewhere, we’re going to do everything to try and keep him. I don’t think he’ll decide based on the result of the Real Madrid game.”

“We have a generation that’s coming through, we have young players from the academy, we want to make other investments. What Qatar has done in the last 10 years has placed PSG among the big clubs. Now, the club is a reality. It’s loved, admired, respected.”

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