Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has taken aim at Kylian Mbappe but did open the door to a future move for the Frenchman.
Mbappe has been the subject of a long-running pursuit by Los Blancos, with his contract at Paris Saint-Germain set to run out this summer. The La Liga giants were confident of convincing him to make the switch to the Spanish capital on a free transfer.
They were left red-faced ahead of PSG’s final game of the season though, when Mbappe announced that he would in fact be staying in Paris. He signed a new three-year contract with the Ligue 1 champions, leaving Madrid furious that he had snubbed them.
But Perez has now opened the door to a move for the superstar in the coming years, with Madrid having long targeted the 22-year-old. He did, though, insist that he ‘didn’t want’ the current version of Mbappe, despite his long-running pursuit.
“I’ve never said it’s over between Mbappe and Real Madrid forever. I never said that. In 3 years, many things can change. But I don’t want this Mbappe. The last one is not the same Kylian we wanted. I wanted the real one,” Perez told El Chiringuito.
“Real Madrid will be always open to buy players who understand that no one is bigger than the club. There will be no more signings, as of now. But then let’s see what is gonna happen, summer is very long.”
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Despite his criticism of Mbappe, Perez did defend the French international and insisted that the blame for his surprise U-turn was not on him. Instead, the Madrid president took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron and PSG’s deep wallets.
“We didn’t sign any pre-contract or agreement with Kylian Mbappe because it’s not regular. Kylian Mbappe did not betray me. Mbappe told us his dream was to play for Real Madrid, many and many times. But then all changed in 15 days because of political & economical pressure. His dream had to change,” he added.
“Macron called Mbappé, it makes no sense. PSG offered him to be the leader of the project, it changed everything. I didn’t see the same Kylian Mbappé that we wanted. Here, no one is bigger than Real Madrid. It won’t change.
“It was not easy for Mbappe to receive calls from the president of France… to tell you not to leave the club. Then go to Qatar and they offer things that drive you crazy, probably things out of proportion. This is why Kylian has changed.
“I think Kylian Mbappe’s mom wanted him to join Real Madrid, she knows it has always been Kylian’s dream. I’m sure she wanted Mbappe to join us, but things change and we have to respect. I still respect Kylian, absolutely.”
The state of Madrid’s current finances means that it is unlikely they will make another mega-money move for Mbappe like they did last summer in the coming years. They have undertaken a major squad overhaul though, with high earners Marcelo and Gareth Bale both released.