Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo remains confident that the club can convince Kylian Mbappe to stay beyond the end of his current contract.
Mbappe’s deal at the Parc des Princes expires at the end of this season, and he will be able to begin talks with overseas club over a free transfer in the summer from January 1.
Real Madrid have been heavily linked with a move for the 22-year-old and are still the clear front-runners for his signature, while Liverpool have also been credited with a long-standing interest.
Mbappe became the second-most expensive player of all time when he joined PSG from Monaco, so losing him for free would represent a substantial loss for the Ligue 1 outfit both on and off the pitch.
The France international looks increasingly likely to leave next summer, but Leonardo insists that PSG still have “good possibilities” to keep a player he believes pips teammate Lionel Messi as the “best player in the world”.
“It’s a very special situation because we are talking about the best player in the world who is coming to the end of his contract. We can say that there were times when we discussed more warmly, but that is part of building a relationship,” Leonardo told JDD.
“People will think that we say that because we want to prolong it but it is beyond the interest of the club. At 22 years old, almost 23, Kylian has reached an incredible maturity.
“It’s a complicated situation in the sense that we would like him to stay all his life and that we have to respect that (the family’s position). I think we still have good possibilities (to extend it). I believe in it.”
Mbappe has scored 145 goals and created 75 more in just 194 games for PSG, including 13 goals and 14 assists in 23 outings so far this season.