Paris, Jul 5 (EFE).- “If he doesn’t want to sign a new contract, the door is open,” Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said Wednesday of star Kylian Mbappe, who announced that he would not extend his current contract, which ends at the end of June 2024.
“He has to make up his mind next week, or in two weeks at the most,” the Qatari businessman said in an exchange with French journalists following a press conference to unveil new PSG manager Luis Enrique, according to Le Parisien.
Mbappe, 24, signed a two-year extension with PSG in May 2022 after the Ligue 1 club rejected several offers from Real Madrid and following an appeal from French President Emmanuel Macron for the Paris native to remain with his hometown team.
Several weeks ago, the France captain sent PSG a letter stating that he will not make any decisions about renewing the deal until the end of the 2023-2024 season, raising the prospect that he could leave the club on a free transfer.
“If Kylian wants to stay, we want him to stay, but to sign a new contract,” Al-Khelaifi said during the presentation of Luis Enrique. “We cannot let the best player in the world leave for free.”
The new manager, for his part, tiptoed around questions about Mbappe’s future by saying the club was trying to assemble “the best squad possible” for the upcoming season.
In his subsequent remarks to the smaller group of reporters, Al-Khelaifi set a deadline for Mbappe to make a decision and expressed dismay about the striker’s position.
“We want him to stay but he can’t leave for free. That was our verbal agreement and he expressed it publicly in an interview. So it’s not debatable. I was really shocked to learn that he intended to leave for free,” the club president said.
“It’s very disappointing because Kylian is a fantastic lad, a real gentleman, and to leave for free, by weakening the biggest French club, is not him. When I received this information, I was shocked and disappointed,” Al-Khelaifi said.
The president’s decision to issue the ultimatum appears to be connected with the schedule, as training officially begins on July 17 and PSG is set to travel to Japan five days later for preseason friendlies.