Real Madrid’s Florentino Pérez claims the French president, Emmanuel Macron, intervened to persuade Kylian Mbappé to sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
Madrid had targeted the forward last summer but after failing with a £170m bid were confident they could lure him to the Bernabéu once his deal had expired. However, the France international signed a new, highly lucrative three-year contract with PSG, who are bankrolled by Qatari Sports Investment, a subsidiary of the country’s sovereign wealth fund.
“His dream was to play at Real Madrid,” the club’s president told the Spanish television programme El Chiringuito. “We wanted to do it last August and they didn’t let him leave. He kept saying he wanted to play at Madrid and 15 days before changed the situation.
“Macron called Mbappé, it makes no sense. PSG offered him to be the leader of the project, it changed everything. It was not easy for Mbappé to receive calls from the president of France … to tell you not to leave the club.
“Then [you] go to Qatar and they offer things that drive you crazy, probably things out of proportion. This is why Kylian has changed.
“I didn’t see the same Kylian Mbappé that we wanted. He changes, he is offered other things, he is pressured and he is already another footballer. This is not the Mbappé I wanted to bring; he is another one, who must have changed his dream. Here, no one is bigger than Real Madrid. It won’t change.”