French President Emmanuel Macron has revealed the role he played in advising Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe to remain at the club amid interest from Real Madrid.
Mbappe had been strongly linked with a move to the Spanish capital for over a year. But it seemingly did not materialize after the Ligue 1 champions shocked the world by announcing a new three-year contract for the 23-year-old on May 21.
There have been reports that Macron had a part to play in Mbappe’s decision to stay in his homeland, and the head of state has now confirmed that he reached out to the World Cup winner in a bid to “defend the country”.
Macron felt it was his “responsibility” to advise Mbappe, who is widely regarded as the most talented player of his generation and a major asset to Ligue 1.
“Yes, it is true that I had a conversation with Kylian Mbappe before he made a firm decision about his future,” Macron told a press conference.
“In it, I merely advised him, in a totally informal way, to remain in France. I believe it is my responsibility, as president, to defend the country when asked in an informal and friendly manner.”
He added: “I have never intervened in any transfer. Just like any other citizen, when it comes to sporting matters, I always want to see a good game and cheer on a team, especially, in my case, Olympique de Marseille.”