Mbappe 'asked to leave' for Real Madrid in July to give PSG time to find replacement

French club rejected several offers from Spanish giants despite striker entering the final year of his contract

France striker Kylian Mbappe has opened up on his attempts to leave Paris Saint-Germain for Real Madrid over the summer, insisting he told the club of his desire to move in July to give them time to find a "quality replacement".

PSG rejected several bids from Real Madrid, including one in August worth €160 million ($185.6m), for Mbappe, who can leave as a free agent at the end of this season when his contract expires. The World Cup-winning forward will also be free to discuss pre-contract terms with foreign clubs in January.

"I asked to leave, because from the moment I did not want to extend [my contract], I wanted the club to have a transfer fee to find a quality replacement," Mbappe, 22, told RMC Sport in an interview that will be aired on Tuesday.

"It is a club that has given me a lot, I have always been happy, the four years I spent here, and I am still happy. I announced it early enough ... I said, if you don't want me to leave, I'll stay."

Mbappe, who joined PSG from Monaco for €180m in 2018 having spent the previous season on loan at the capital club, denied he had turned down "six or seven" extension proposals.

"People have said that I refused six or seven offers of extension, that I do not want to talk to [sporting director] Leonardo, this is absolutely not true. They told me 'Kylian now you talk with the president," he said.

"Personally, I did not appreciate the fact that they said I came [with the news he wanted to leave] the last week of August. I said at the end of July that I wanted to go."

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said at Lionel Messi's unveiling in August that he was confident Mbappe would extend his contract, believing the opportunity to forge one of the finest attacks in world football alongside the Argentine and Brazilian forward Neymar would convince him to stay.

"When your president tells everyone that you're not leaving and you're not going for free, you worry a little," Mbappe said. "I was worried at that time. I'm not going to lie.

"I asked myself what would happen if I didn't leave for free. What could happen to me? But it was their way of showing their commitment to me. It meant the club wanted me and didn't want to let me go.

"I was a little [disappointed] at the time," he added. "When you want to leave, you're not happy if you stay.

"But I moved on quickly. Unfortunately I got injured with the national team. I went home quickly, had time to cry while I had no games, then I came back, scored, and did well again."

Updated: October 5th 2021, 5:11 AM
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