Kylian Mbappe faces a fresh problem in the Paris Saint-Germain dressing room after Presnel Kimpembe confirmed he was “not made aware” of the striker replacing him as the club’s vice-captain.
Mbappe captained Les Parisiens and he netted a club-record five-goal haul in their 7-0 thrashing of French sixth-tier minnows US Pays de Cassel on Monday. He led the team out for the first time in the absence of club captain Marquinhos with his increased status at the club following his new three-year contract penned last May.
PSG boss Christophe Galtier explained: “I decided that he is the second captain since the beginning of the season, he deserves to have this armband when Marquinhos is not there because he has decided to stay.” However, that decision was not communicated to Kimpembe, who had previously held the status.
“In the last few hours I have been able to hear and read a lot about myself,” Kimpembe wrote on Instagram. “I therefore wish to make things clear in order to avoid continuing to spread false information in this regard. I was not made aware of this decision, this is completely false… That said, I will always respect the decisions of the club.”
The decision to instil Mbappe as vice-captain also notably overlooked Lionel Messi for the role – the Argentine had captained Barcelona for three seasons but does not hold similar status in Paris. Mbappe directed one of his goal celebrations in the World Cup final in front of Messi, hinting at heightened tensions between the two.
Mbappe, PSG’s only representative in the French World Cup squad, was mocked by Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez in the victors’ celebrations after the final. Mbappe was given time off by the club as they honoured Messi’s triumph upon his return to add further fuel to suggestions of a fractured relationship.
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The latest developments come amid Mbappe’s reported ongoing reported feud with attacking teammate Neymar. Mbappe and Neymar fell out over the order of penalty-takers earlier this season in a Ligue 1 clash.
Former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was reportedly forced to step in to separate the feuding pair and boss Galtier staged a first-team meeting in which the two were rebuked. However, it increasingly appears to be an uneasy relationship.
Mbappe recently refused to commit his future to PSG following suggestions of an exit. “For now, a second World Cup,” the France international said in November when quizzed over his alleged transfer request. “After that, I don’t know.” He has yet to provide an update on his future but the dressing room at the Parc des Princes appears to be far from a settled, happy one.