Friday, Dec 01, 2023

Paging Inspector Clouseau, No Clarity Yet On Mbappé And PSG

Paging Inspector Clouseau, No Clarity Yet On Mbappé And PSG

Coach Enrique hopes Frenchman stays, Neymar could be out this month

Kylian Mbappe: Will he, won't he?
Kylian Mbappe: Will he, won't he? AP Photo

While the mystery over the future of Kylian Mbappé and Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain continues - someone please call Inspector Clouseau - club coach Enrique addressed a press conference in Paris on Friday. He did not comment on Neymar, who is likely to leave sooner than Mbappe. But Enrique hoped Mbappe would stay on. He didn’t say much else.

Both stars were absent from PSG’s training session on Friday. Neymar, PSG said, trained alone indoors due to a viral infection.  Mbappe has trained separately the entire week. 

In another telltale sign, both players along with Marco Verratti, who is also on the move, were not among the five players promoting a new PSG sponsor.

PSG start their league campaign on Saturday against Lorient.

“This situation has existed before, a positive solution was found with the club. I hope an agreement is reached, which is something I would like,” Enrique said through a translator at the conference. “But the club is above everything, the coach, the players.”

When asked a follow-up question, he said,  “I am not going to say anything else, the first answer expressed my opinion clearly.”

Mbappe has clearly said he wants to play the final season of his contract and leave as a free agent next year. But PSG would rather they sell him now if he is leaving next year anyway.  

Mbappe and Neymar are being linked to the two Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. 

Verrati is reportedly going to Saudi Arabia.

Neymar might leave this very month, according to a source.

“Regarding Marco and Neymar, I'm used to keeping conversations private. I will not talk about what I said to them and what they said to me,” Enrique said. "(But) I ask you to pay attention to my actions. My decisions will clearly express my views."

Enrique, 53, was a little more open discussing the French winger Ousmane Dembélé, who PSG are getting from Barcelona. 

“He is not a PSG player yet,” a smiling Enrique said. “He is 99 percent, but not 100 percent.”

The coach is clear he wants a hard charging bunch who will play their lungs out for over 90 minutes. 

“What I want is 95 minutes, 100 minutes of being competitive, whether that's in the (French) league or the Champions League,” Enrique said. “I don't want 10 minutes of folly. I want an attacking game, I want pressing. I want to be on top of the game from the first minute to the last.”