PARIS, May 20, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino
insisted Friday he has no idea where Kylian Mbappe will play his club
football next season as the striker's contract in the French capital comes to
Mbappe is expected to reveal in the coming days whether he will join Real
Madrid or accept a lucrative offer to stay at PSG, with an announcement
potentially being made in the hours after the French champions play their
final game of the Ligue 1 season at home to Metz on Saturday.
"I don't know what his decision is. I think it's a personal matter for Kylian
and for the club," Pochettino said at a press conference ahead of the Metz
"There are lots of rumours going around but the player is the one who will
have to talk about this.
"If I knew what his decision was I wouldn't be the one to talk about it."
Mbappe, who joined PSG from Monaco in 2017, last week won the Ligue 1 Player
of the Year prize and comes into the final weekend of the season as the
division's top scorer with 25 goals.
Rumours are swirling in France and in Spain about when he will confirm where
his next contract will be.
"Mbappe, end of the suspense on Sunday," claimed the headline in French
sports daily L'Equipe on Friday.
Pochettino said he hoped the 23-year-old would remain at PSG even if
uncertainty surrounds the coach's own future despite the Argentine and his
staff having a year left on their own deals.
"I hope Kylian is still here for many years to come but I also can't lie. I
don't know what is going to happen," he said.
"We have a year left on our contracts so we will potentially be here next
season. I just hope tomorrow (Saturday) we can enjoy celebrating the club's
10th league title."
One player who is definitely expected to move on is Angel di Maria, with the
34-year-old Argentine winger's own contract expiring and PSG understood to be
happy for him to leave.
PSG have cantered to the Ligue 1 title, equalling Saint-Etienne's French
record for most league championships, but their season has been soured by
defeat against Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 in early March.
The Parisians were 1-0 up away to Madrid an hour into the second leg thanks
to a Mbappe goal, and led 2-0 on aggregate, only to implode and go out to a
Karim Benzema hat-trick.
"I hope the best is still to come. I think everyone at Paris Saint-Germain
wants to win the Champions League. That has become an obsession for this club
and I hope we can win it," Pochettino added.
"That spell in the second half in Madrid saw us not get the result we wanted
and created lots of questions and emotions that we have not been able to
control in recent months.
"Despite that the players deserve to be congratulated because they have shown
the ability to lift themselves and finish the season."