Kylian Mbappé’s desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the January transfer window is partly due to an issue with Lionel Messi, according to reports. Mbappé signed a new contract with PSG in May to seemingly end rumours of a move to Real Madrid, but the possibility of a move to Liverpool has been reignited amid widespread reports that Mbappé is now deeply unhappy with his situation in Paris and is once again pushing to leave the club.
The 23-year-old is reportedly earning £42.5million (€50m) per year, in addition to a bonus of £153m (€180m) for agreeing to stay at the Parc des Princes in May. However, the longevity of his stay at PSG now looks in real peril amid reports that Mbappé feels ‘betrayed’ by the club.
Spanish newspaper Marca has reported that Mbappé’s relationship with the club’s hierarchy has completely broken down, and the journalist who broke the story has now added that Mbappé also feels that Messi has too much power in the PSG dressing room, having assumed a similar position to the one he had at Barcelona. Meanwhile, ESPN claims that Mbappé feels at odds with PSG’s direction on and off the pitch and regrets signing the contract extension earlier this year. He believes that promises made by sporting director Luis Campos, president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and manager Christophe Galtier have not been kept.
The publication adds that his relationship with Neymar has also become more fractious. Mbappé would prefer to play with a traditional No. 9 up front, rather than alongside Neymar and Messi, who he feels don’t compliment his playing style. That is something Mbappé has alluded to publicly.
In September, after playing in France’s win over Austria in the UEFA Nations League, Mbappé said he was having more fun playing for the national team. “What they ask of me here is different,” Mbappé said. “Here, I have much more freedom than at PSG.” He added: “The coach knows that there is a No. 9, like [Olivier] Giroud, and so I can move and go into space. In Paris it is different – they ask me to play pivot, although I enjoy [playing] everywhere.”
Paris Saint-Germain suffered a 3-1 defeat against RC Lens in a domestic match on Sunday, which was the team’s second consecutive sluggish display. This will likely be a concern for the manager, Christophe Galtier, as RC Lens is just a few points behind them in the Ligue 1 table. To stand a chance of winning the title, PSG will need all of its star players, including Neymar, Messi, and Mbappé, to perform at their best.
With no Neymar at the Stade Bollaert Delelis due to suspension, Kylian Mbappé and the rest of the team found it difficult to compete against a hungry RC Lens side hot on their heels. Przemyslaw Frankowski put Lens ahead within the first five minutes, but Hugo Ekitike controversially leveled the score before the 10th minute, despite a VAR check for a foul on the home team’s goalkeeper, Brice Samba.
Lois Openda restored the lead for Lens just before the half-hour mark, with veteran defender Sergio Ramos being embarrassed by the Belgium international’s speed. Just three minutes into the second half, Alexis Claude Maurice extended the home team’s lead thanks to a brilliant assist from Openda.
In addition to the goals, PSG’s second consecutive sluggish display will have concerned manager Christophe Galtier, who saw his team bailed out by a debatable late penalty in their previous match against RC Strasbourg Alsace.