PSG director Leonardo criticises Real Madrid ‘strategy’ over Kylian Mbappe pursuit

Paris Saint-Germain director of football Leonardo has opened up on Real Madrid’s late move for Kylian Mbappe, criticising the Spanish giant’s strategy in trying to sign the French international.

The World Cup winner has entered the final 12 months of his contract at the Parc des Princes and has rebuffed the club’s offers of a new contract as he looks to seek pastures new.

After what has been a quiet transfer window so far, Real Madrid sparked into life on Tuesday evening, launching a bid of around €160 million (£137m) for the forward.


That bid was swiftly knocked back by PSG, and sporting director Leonardo criticised Los Blancos‘ ‘strategy’, accusing them of making ‘illegal’ contact with the player with the intention of signing him on a free.

“Our position has always been to keep Kylian, to extend him, that has always been our goal and still is,” he told RMC Sport. “We made two important offers to Kylian: one at the top level of the squad two months ago and one above those players very recently. We want to prove to him that he is an important player, at the centre of the project, but not above the project.

“Compared to the position of Real, it looks like a strategy to have a no on our part, to show that they have tried everything and to wait a year to have it free. Real Madrid have been behaving like this for two years, it’s incorrect, illegal even because they contacted the player. It is unacceptable to us, because it is not correct. This is the very proof of the strategy: an offer arrives one year from the end of its contract and seven days from the end of the transfer window. They want a refusal to show Kylian that they’ve tried everything and start negotiating for next year.”

The Brazilian admitted that Mbappe wants to leave and that the club will not stand in his way from doing so, but admitted that the offer – even though he only has a year to run on his deal – is a ‘far cry’ from their valuation.

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“Yes [we declined their offer], we said non-verbally. But we are not holding anyone back. If someone wants to leave and our conditions are met, we’ll see. But we created a dream with our players this summer, and we won’t let anyone destroy it. The offer is considered to be a far cry from what Kylian represents today. We also owe part of this money to Monaco and we consider that the proposal is not sufficient.

“Kylian Mbappé wants to leave, it seems clear to me. If Real Madrid make an offer, it seems clear to me … I give a position, which, I think, is clear to everyone. We cannot, the last week of the transfer window change our plans. If he wants to leave, we won’t hold him back, but it’s on our terms.”

“We never opened the door to a departure. NEVER. People say that I want to sell and not Nasser, but me or Nasser thinks the same thing. We are on the same wavelength. We defend the club. Our goal is to extend it and keep it. But if a player wants to leave, it’s on our terms, it’s not just for Kylian, it’s for all players.

Asked if they had plans to speak to Real Madrid again, he said: “We have no plans to talk to Real Madrid again. The deadline is August 31 at midnight. That’s how the transfer window, for us we are clear: we keep it and we extend it. But we’re not going to let him go for less than what we paid when we still owe Monaco money.”

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