PSG Contemplates Mbappe's Departure: Leonardo Highlights Team's Future Without Him
After the 2023-24 season, PSG doesn't want to keep Kylian Mbappe. After Lionel Messi announced his departure from PSG to join Inter Miami, he informed the club through a letter that he won't renew the contract. Leonardo, PSG's former sporting director who worked with Mbappe for three years at Parc des Princes, believes that Mbappe's time in Paris has come to an end.
In 2022, all the arrangements for Mbappe's move to Real Madrid were almost finalized. However, Real Madrid couldn't secure his signing. Now, after Mbappe's announcement of leaving PSG, everyone has assumed that Real Madrid is his likely destination.
PSG demands a transfer fee of 200 million euros for Mbappe. Real Madrid is not willing to pay such a high amount at the moment. Perhaps they hope that if Mbappe becomes a free agent in the upcoming season, they can acquire him for free.
However, PSG doesn't want to let Mbappe leave as a free agent. If a new agreement is not reached, PSG's president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, wants to sell the French striker to Real Madrid in the current transfer window.
Amidst this situation, in an interview with L'Equipe, PSG's former sporting director Leonardo stated that Mbappe has to leave for the sake of PSG's well-being, regardless of what happens.
Why did he say such things? Leonardo explained that PSG existed before Mbappe and will continue to exist even after him. Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe were initially brought together by PSG primarily to win the Champions League. But their dream hasn't been fulfilled. Leonardo also emphasized that Mbappe has played for Paris for six seasons, winning five different Champions League titles with five different clubs (Real Madrid in 2018 and 2022, Liverpool in 2019, Bayern in 2020, Chelsea in 2021, and Manchester City in 2023).
If that's the case, what does PSG gain by keeping Mbappe? This is the question that Leonardo has raised, as Mbappe didn't play for any of these five clubs. It means that it's possible to win the Champions League without him.
Leonardo further added that in the past two years, Mbappe's behavior has shown that he doesn't have the capability to lead the team. He is an exceptional player but not a leader. He is an extraordinary goal scorer but not a creator. Building a team around him is difficult.