Christian Karembeu is longing to hear whether Kylian Mbappe commits to Paris Saint-Germain or decides joining Real Madrid is his destiny. (More Football News)
With barely 18 months remaining on his Parc des Princes contract, the future of Mbappe is coming into sharp focus.
PSG would love him to stay and lead their project in the long term, as they attempt to win the Champions League and develop a club profile to match the likes of Madrid.
However, there is little doubt that Madrid would be near the front of the queue should Mbappe decide he wants to experience another football culture.
Karembeu, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, believes there can be no rushing the striker who helped Les Bleus repeat the global triumph in 2018.
"It's a dream but we have to wait," Karembeu said. "The Madrid fans have been waiting for Kylian for a year or two.
"He hasn't come yet. It's the same thing for Paul Pogba."
Karembeu told Stats Perform News courtesy of Nissan: "Today, Kylian has to decide his objectives and his plans, if he wants to go to Real Madrid or stay at Paris.
Karembeu, who had three years at Madrid before joining Middlesbrough in 2000, can nonetheless see PSG taking shape as a major European force.
Their run to last season's final of the Champions League caught the eye, and they recovered impressively in the group campaign this year after a painful home defeat to Manchester United and a loss to RB Leipzig.
Karembeu played when Real Madrid ended a 32-year wait for their seventh European Cup/Champions League crown in the 1998 final against Juventus.
He drew a parallel between Madrid building towards that, and going on to enjoy more sustained success over the next 20 years, with what PSG are doing.
"I talked about Real Madrid. It's 32 years of scarcity to be able to conquer the 'septima', the 'octava' and so many others. It takes a lot of patience," Karembeu said.
"That's what I believe this Parisian team has been doing for many years."
With the backing of Qatar Sports Investments, PSG have been able to compete against Europe's elite in the transfer market, bringing in Neymar for €222million from Barcelona when they activated his buy-out clause, while also attracting Angel Di Maria and keeping hold of Mbappe so far.
"They have accumulated criticism," Karembeu said. "Nevertheless, they have always invested in football, in the players and in the structure of the club.
"They have innovated to get results. Last year they played the final, this year they qualified [for the last 16]."
Karembeu has been impressed by the calibre of PSG's statement signings since the Qatari investors came on board, seeing positive benefits for Ligue 1 as a whole.
"Since they arrived, they have managed to give visibility to the French championship by bringing in big stars like Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], [David] Beckham and many others," Karembeu said.
"[You can] see PSG and the French championship to inspire other generations like [Presnel] Kimpembe and so many others to play in the Champions League and become world champions, but also to go further and further in the European cups."
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