Kylian Mbappe has admitted that he was disappointed that his move to Real Madrid fell through, but says that he will not let it affect his performances this season.
Mbappe experienced an eventful summer, missing the decisive penalty as France crashed out in the Euro 2020 round of 16 before being the subject of a lengthy transfer saga.
Recently, he confirmed that he wanted to move to Madrid back in August, and now, in a fascinating and wide-ranging interview with L’Equipe, he has opened up further on the situation.
“Initially, I had asked for a period of reflection. Before the Euro, I told the club that I didn’t want to extend, and after the Euro, I said that I wanted to leave,” Mbappe said.
“My ambition was really that we all walk hand in hand, the seller club, the buyer club and me. Make the best deal possible to all get out the front door. I also wanted to give my club time to find a replacement. That everyone is happy and that I, I continue my little man on the road.”
Real tabled two sizable bids for Mbappe in the summer, but neither were enough to convince the club to part with their prized asset. Asked whether he ever considered going on strike to force through the move, he replied: “No, because that would have been ungrateful.
“It wouldn’t have been grateful to a club that welcomed me at 18 and gave me a lot for four years. And then I always want to play, to show that I’m a great player, that nothing hits me, even a missed transfer, and that I can make a difference until the last day.”
Nevertheless, Mbappe did confess that he initially felt disappointed that his dream move did not come to fruition, adding that he does not hold a grudge against sections of the PSG support who jeered him in the immediate aftermath of the transfer window closing.
“When your ambition is to leave, if you stay, you’re not happy. But I quickly moved on. Unfortunately I got injured in the selection. I got home quickly, I had time to mourn this departure while there was no match. When I came back I scored again and performed well.
“I told myself that in their place I would have whistled too. In this file, who knew what? We heard a lot of things. I didn’t think to myself, ‘After everything I’ve done, they’re hissing at me.’ No, I took that as a mark of affection.
“They didn’t want me to leave, that means I’m important. Me, I was clear with myself and with my situation.”
Mbappe then went on to reveal why he wanted to leave his hometown club in the first place.
“I thought my adventure was over. I wanted to find out something else. I had been in the French Championship for six or seven years.
“I gave what I tried to give to Paris and I think I did it well. Coming to 18 in post-training and doing everything I did, I think that was something remarkable. Afterwards, everyone is free to draw the conclusions they want, but that was my assessment. Leaving was the next logical step.”
Although he did not get his move away this summer, Mbappe could be snapped up in January or at the end of the season, as his contract expires on 30 June. However, he kept his cards close to his chest when quizzed about his future.
“It has been long enough now that I have been in football to know that the truth of yesterday is not that of today, nor that of tomorrow. If I had been told that Messi was going to play for PSG, I would not have believed him. So we don’t know what can happen.”