The outgoing Paris Saint-Germain boss has claimed their big summer signing wished to leave Ligue 1 and join Real Madrid or Barcelona
Kylian Mbappe was hoping to sign with Real Madrid or Barcelona rather than Paris Saint-Germain, according to Unai Emery.
Mbappe has been crucial to PSG’s domestic dominance this campaign, netting 21 goals across all competitions since signed on an initial loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer from Monaco.
However, Emery, who will end his two-year PSG stint at the end of the season having reclaimed the Ligue 1 title that Monaco – boosted by the emergence of Mbappe – won last term, has revealed the 19-year-old did not initially prefer a move to Paris.
Article continues below
Juve on alert: Exiled Icardi may have already played his final game for Inter Sarri vindicated for dropping Kepa as Chelsea & Pedro impress in Spurs win Magnificent Mane takes centre stage as league leaders Liverpool put on a five-star show Lukaku sends reminder that his Man Utd career is far from over
“When I met his father, and himself, at home, the player wanted to go to Madrid or Barca, and it was the club and I who told him that he had to be in France,” Emery told SFR Sports.
“Historically, this type of French player, who was just 18 years old and was starting to show up, was leaving France, and as a Frenchman, you must be proud to have Mbappe at PSG.
“The French must be happy that he stays in France, because before the players like him, like [Thierry] Henry, went to England or Spain.”
Emery moved to PSG on the back of a hugely successful spell at Sevilla, but struggled in his first season, and despite a much improved second campaign which could still see the Parisians secure a domestic treble, the Spaniard will be replaced.
And the former Valencia boss acknowledged that he has had difficulty getting his message across to his players during his time in France, signalling out Thiago Silva as an example.
“PSG is a team that represents Paris and France, and the Frenchman has a quieter, more balanced, more seigniorial personality, and breaking with that is not easy because the French personality does not like it,” Emery added.
“I arrived and settled down with the continuity of what I was doing in Seville and after that, I adapted to the team because the team did not adapt to my level of aggression in the message.
“Half of the team was working with aggression and the other half wanted a more relaxed approach.
“With Thiago Silva, we had a lot of discussions during his two years because he was the captain. Last year I was expecting more from him.
“I spoke with him and asked him to change things. Because otherwise, in my opinion and after speaking with the president, if he did not change, he had to leave us.”