Ander Herrera reveals Kylian Mbappe told him that he was staying at PSG TWO WEEKS before summer transfer window closed… and Frenchman’s contract extension could depend on ‘what happens this season’
- Three huge bids for Kylian Mbappe from Real Madrid were turned down
- Ander Herrera revealed however that Mbappe already thought he was staying
- PSG sporting director Leonardo said the forward wanted to leave this summer
- The club now appear confident that the 22-year-old will stay beyond this season
- In a wide-ranging interview, Herrera also reflected on Lionel Messi’s influence
- In addition, Herrera touched on his hopes of adding to his two caps for Spain
Ander Herrera has revealed that Kylian Mbappe’s expeced to stay at Paris Saint-Germain during the final weeks of the transfer window amid strong interest from Real Madrid – with the Spaniard hopeful that his team-mate can sign a new contract with the club.
Los Blancos made three final-week bids in an attempt to snap up the 22-year-old, but the French giants would not budge.
PSG sporting director Leonardo said before the first bid of €160million (£137m) was lodged on 25 August that Mbappe wanted to leave for the Spanish capital, but Herrera told El Larguero in quotes carried by AS that the France star already knew by that point that his immediate future lay at the Parc des Princes – and claims that the club had already decided that their prize asset would stay.
Ander Herrera has said Kylian Mbappe told him he would not be joining Real Madrid for now
PSG sporting director Leonardo admitted Mbappe wanted to leave in August for the Bernabeu
However, Mbappe has remained at the Parc des Princes after Real’s three bids fell on deaf ears
‘I had an intuition that he was staying,’ said Herrera. ‘This is what he and the club were telling us. I asked him two weeks before the market ended and he said: ‘I’m here.’
‘Everything I saw did not marry up with what was happening here. What happens this season may affect Mbappe saying.’
Leonardo admited publicly that although Mbappe wanted to leave, the £137m figure was too low and that Real had made an ‘illegal’ approach for the player – but the fact that the Brazilian said that the bid was insufficient left the door open for a move.
The second bid of €180m (£154m) was met with silence before a figure of €200m (£172m) was tabled on the final day of the window, which PSG were never going to accept with no time to find a replacement.
Mbappe looks set to move to the Bernabeu next summer when his contract at PSG runs out, but the club appear more optimistic that a deal can be thrashed out despite the 2018 World Cup winner stalling over putting pen to paper, with Leonardo saying: ‘I don’t see Mbappe leaving at the end of the season.’
In a wide-ranging interview, Herrera also spoke about the sensational arrival of Lionel Messi and the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s impact on the squad.
Leonardo earlier this week claimed that the club expected Mbappe to stay beyond this season
This is despite strong speculation that Mbappe will move to Madrid once his PSG deal expires
‘In football there are different types of leadership. There are captains who encourage and then there are leaders setting an example. That [the second option] is Leo,’ explained Herrera.
Was the 32-year-old surprised about the move?
‘For two or three months with the Argentines, we always talked about the possibility. It surprised me a lot.
Herrera admitted that it was strange seeing Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos at a new club
‘All of us who have seen Messi’s evolution have found it strange seeing him with another shirt like Sergio Ramos.’
Ramos has been unavailable for selection since joining from Real this summer due to a calf problem and Herrera revealed that the decorated centre back is itching to get back out on the pitch.
‘He has a crazy desire to play. He is a leader and a winner. He has played 99% of the games of his career and I don’t want to burden him too much by asking him. We really want to see him with us.’
The ex-Manchester United midfielder relishes being with a team that rivals really want to beat
Having surprisingly lost out in the Ligue 1 title race to Lille last season, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have started this campaign with five wins from five and are firm favourites to wrestle back their crown. Herrera relishes the challenge.
‘I perceive every day that when rivals play against us it is their game of the year. I like that. I wanted to play with the best and I love being the rival to beat.’
Herrera’s only two caps for Spain came during the 2016-17 season while he was at Manchester United, but the Real Zaragoza academy graduate is not willing to close the book on his international career.
Herrera hopes to convince Luis Enrique of his qualities and add to his two caps for Spain
‘I dream of it. I would love to represent my country even though I have been in big clubs.
‘I think that no coach throws stones on his roof and I have to try to convince with my game.’
PSG host Lyon on Sunday, with Mbappe reportedly a doubt for the match after sustaining an ankle injury in the 1-1 draw with Club Bruges on Wednesday.
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