Lionel Messi is "on Olympus" as one of the greatest players in history, and former Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo cannot believe he brought the star to Ligue 1.

Leonardo departed at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, with former Monaco and Lille transfer guru Luis Campos joining the Ligue 1 champions as a football advisor.

Coach Mauricio Pochettino is also widely expected to be heading for the exit door after failing to deliver in the Champions League, which is the crown jewel in the eyes of PSG owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).

However, Pochettino and Leonardo did manage to bring Argentina great Messi to Paris at the start of the season, ending a 17-year spell with Barcelona.

Messi ranked only behind Kylian Mbappe (45) for goal involvements for PSG in Ligue 1, with the former's 20 one more than Neymar, who was the final part of an incredible frontline trio.

Only Mbappe (70) created more chances than Messi (63) as well, but the Blaugrana legend's first year in the French capital was largely viewed as somewhat underwhelming, with just six top-flight goals scored.

Nevertheless, Leonardo reflected gleefully on securing the services of the 34-year-old along with his own achievements with PSG.

"We had thought about it a lot, yes. We had talked about it, but Messi had never thought too much about leaving Barcelona," he told L'Equipe.

"It was the last moments before his arrival that were decisive. Afterwards, everything becomes a bit more normal but, you made Messi's only transfer in his career!

"Chronologically, there is Pele, Maradona, Messi. He is on Olympus.

"So when I take stock of my last three years, I see a Champions League final, a semi-final, the 10th league title, seven national trophies and I signed Messi.

"There are two very significant moments for me, even if I don't like to pick out the best. The first is the signing, on the same day, of [Marco] Verratti and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic [in 2012].

"It was no coincidence that a youngster from the Italian second division and a world football star arrived at the same time. The second is Messi. These are two huge dates."

 

Mbappe rejected the advances of Real Madrid to extend his stay with PSG, signing a lucrative three-year agreement.

Reports indicated the World Cup winner was offered assurances relating to matters on and off the pitch.

While Leonardo has departed and Pochettino appears set to follow, the former suggests he did not know whether the Mbappe agreement held such clauses.

"It was the end of the season and maybe it was the time to decide things for the future," he added. "I wasn't told that, but I don't want to get into that kind of thing.

"The fact that they've managed to hold on to that player, a Frenchman and a Parisian, is important for PSG and for Ligue 1.

"Certain things which are said internally should stay that way. It's what I've experienced with the club. When the club wants to get rid of you, there's no nice way to say it's over."

Kylian Mbappe could be at Real Madrid next season, but Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo jokingly warned they may be feeling overconfident. 

PSG clinched their 10th Ligue 1 title in bizarre circumstances against Lens on Saturday, as fans made their way out of the stands in the 75th minute in protest at the club's management.

The game finished in a 1-1 draw with 10-man Lens equalising through Corentin Jean in the 88th minute at the Parc des Princes, and the final whistle was met with boos in some sections.

Mbappe has been involved in 51 goals (33 scored, 18 assisted) in 42 appearances in all competitions for PSG this season, more than double the haul of Lionel Messi (22 – nine goals, 13 assists) and almost three times as many as Neymar (18 – 11 goals, seven assists). 

Only Robert Lewandowski (53 – 48 goals, five assists) and Karim Benzema (52 – 39 goals, 13 assists) have managed more in all competitions across the top five European leagues.

Mbappe can leave PSG on a free transfer after his contract expires in June, but the club are understandably keen to tie him down to a renewal with Madrid circling. 

The World Cup-winning attacker insists his mind is not yet made up, and Leonardo playfully reminded Madrid that they have yet to prise Mbappe away from the club, despite their long-term interest. 

"In Madrid, they have been sure for the past three years that Kylian will end up at Real. Maybe they are a bit too sure about that," Leonardo told Sky Sport Italia. 

"When Kylian says he hasn't decided yet, I believe him. We have an upfront relationship. He is checking everything to make the best decision. 

"He knows we want him here and he is everyone's protege. Today, he is the best player in the world. He will make his decision together with us – the relationship is very good." 

He added to Canal+: "Kylian is still thinking. There's a possibility he'll stay. With or without him next season, it changes everything." 

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo says now is not the time to discuss the future of head coach Mauricio Pochettino and the club do not need to "start all over again" after their Champions League collapse against Real Madrid.

PSG had looked set for a quarter-final spot when Kylian Mbappe doubled their aggregate lead at the Santiago Bernabeu with a first-half opener.

But Karim Benzema's 17-minute hat-trick saw the Ligue 1 leaders eliminated from the Champions League after a first-leg victory for the fourth time, with only Madrid themselves have gone out in such a fashion on more occasions (six times).

Whilst adamant that Benzema had fouled PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the build-up to the first of his three goals, Leonardo conceded changes were needed but not a large-scale rebuild. 

"It's a blow," Leonardo told RMC Sport after PSG's 3-2 aggregate reverse. 

"We can't bury everything that has been done. It's difficult to analyse.

"The foul on Donnarumma was decisive, but we had difficulty managing this moment. We lost control, we have to look for solutions. It's a shame that a decision is decisive in this kind of moment, but we have to keep calm. 

"We made mistakes, we have to change things, but we don't have to review everything.

"We must not throw everything away and put everything in the trash. We must not start all over again from scratch with each defeat.

"The objective is to win the Champions League, and until half-time of this match we were good."

The defeat is certain to lead to renewed speculation regarding the future of Pochettino, who has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in the close season.

But Leonardo says the former Tottenham coach remains in their plans, at least for the time being.

"We must stay together. Pochettino is still in the project for this season," he added.

"This is not the time to think about that [the coach's future]."

Leonardo says Mauricio Pochettino has "never asked to leave" Paris Saint-Germain despite links to Manchester United.

Meanwhile, the PSG sporting director also suggested that signing injury-hit defender Sergio Ramos may have been a "mistake".

Pochettino joined PSG in January 2021 and is likely to add this season's Ligue 1 title to the Coupe de France he won last campaign, with his star-studded side opening up a 15-point lead at the top of the table.

However, rumours have continually linked Pochettino to the Old Trafford hot-seat, which caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick is set to vacate at the end of this season, and the PSG coach is said to have long-term admirers within the United hierarchy.

United's football director John Murtough this week said that a "thorough process" to appoint a new manager was underway, but Leonardo insists Pochettino has never voiced a desire to leave the French capital, and that there has not been any contact with rumoured replacement Zinedine Zidane.

"Honestly, we haven't thought about a coaching change," Leonardo told L'Equipe. "[Pochettino] has a year left on his contract.

"We've never contacted Zidane or anyone else. Before he came here, Pochettino was among the best five coaches, and he still is. 

"He may have had moments of doubt, but he's never asked to leave."

Leonardo was also asked about the condition of Ramos, who has been limited to just four Ligue 1 appearances since joining from Real Madrid due to injury.

 

While Leonardo refused to say Ramos' playing career could be over, he expressed regret about the persistent injury woes suffered by the 35-year-old and appeared to hint that his signing may have been a "mistake".

"He was well physically when we signed him," he said of the former Madrid captain.

"Up to now he has played five games [in all competitions]. Unfortunately, it has not happened as we imagined. It's hard for him, for everyone, but our reports are clear. 

"The day it is said he can't play any more, it will be clear for everyone. But it's not the case.

"Not playing makes it difficult for him to be a leader, but we will wait before drawing conclusions; the season is not over. 

"But I'm not afraid to own up to mistakes when I make them."

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has promised every effort is being made to persuade Kylian Mbappe to sign a new contract.

Mbappe, whose 14 Ligue 1 goals this term make him the Parisians' top scorer, has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid when his current deal ends in June.

Madrid have made no secret of their interest, with LaLiga president Javier Tebas recently stating his confidence that the French World Cup winner would move to Spain.

However, recent speculation has focused on whether Mbappe could yet be convinced to remain in the French capital, and he scored a superb solo goal against Madrid last month to put PSG ahead in the two-leg Champions League tie against his would-be suitors.

Speaking to L'Equipe, Leonardo said PSG would "try everything" to keep the 23-year-old, claiming money was not the key factor in negotiations.

"We have a possibility [to keep Mbappe]," former Brazil star Leonardo said. "As long as there is no signature [with another club], we will try everything, we will do everything possible to retain him.

"We did not send a specific offer. There is an important element: I think the last thing we will put into this contract will be the amount of money. It's not about that. We want to put him in the best condition so that he becomes the best player possible."

Mbappe netted twice in PSG's 3-1 win over Saint-Etienne last time out to move level with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's tally of 156 goals for the club, placing him joint-second in the Parisian giants' all-time goalscoring charts behind Edinson Cavani, who scored 200 times for the club.

 

Mbappe is also the only player in the French top flight to have hit double figures for both goals and assists this season, and Leonardo says that means he has now joined team-mate Lionel Messi among the finest players on the planet.

"Kylian is the best player in the world today," Leonardo said. "Messi has always been at this level, and for me he still is, but it's normal that others arrive.

"It's not a case of judging who is best. One is 23 years old, and the other is 34."

Mbappe's tally of 10 league assists this campaign places him level with Messi as French football's most creative forces, and the duo have helped the champions-elect on a run that has included just one loss in their last 17 Ligue 1 outings.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo hit out at the officials after the Parisians slipped to a 3-1 loss at Nantes, claiming referee Mikael Lesage favoured the hosts throughout their second loss of the Ligue 1 season.

PSG found themselves 3-0 down at half-time in an absorbing contest, during which both teams were awarded penalties, Ludovic Blas scoring from the spot for the hosts before Neymar's inexplicable second-half penalty miss halted a potential comeback from the visitors.

Meanwhile, home defender Dennis Appiah saw a first-half red card correctly overturned by VAR, before being fortunate to avoid a second booking when giving away PSG's spot-kick, and the visitors were enraged by Nicolas Pallois' tackle on Kylian Mbappe.

Speaking to Canal+ after the contest, Leonardo admitted the French league leaders did not perform well, but fumed at the officiating of the match.

"It was a tough game for us," the Brazilian said. "After a Champions League match, we knew we were the team to beat. We conceded two goals and it was deserved. 

"[But] afterwards, all the choices [of the officials] were against us. He announced a minute of added time [at the end of the first half] and then the [Nantes] penalty [eventually taken six minutes into injury-time] comes four minutes later. 

"I think there is an urge to whistle against us. The referee doesn't even whistle [for Pallois' challenge]. You risk players having three months out with an injury.

"Afterwards, Appiah concedes a penalty, and he does not give yellow when it would have been red [for two bookable offences].

"The match was no longer controlled, for us as well as for Nantes, it was completely out of control."

 

PSG's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti was one of the eight players booked during an ill-tempered affair, and was also incensed by the decision not to award Appiah a second booking for his 58th-minute foul on Mbappe.

"Sometimes the referee says we can talk to him, this evening, we couldn't at all," the 29-year-old told Canal+. "He's the only referee in the world who does things like that. 

"Normally, a penalty is a yellow card and therefore a red card. How is it possible not to show a yellow card [to Appiah]? I think the referees have to take responsibility because there, we were s*** on by the refereeing."

Despite holding a 13-point lead at the Ligue 1 summit, Mauricio Pochettino's team have only won three of their last nine away league matches (drawing four and losing two), after winning 11 of their previous 12.

Paris Saint-Germain remain committed to trying to retain Kylian Mbappe amid ongoing links with Real Madrid, according to sporting director Leonardo.

Mbappe is out of contract at the end of the season and he is yet to re-sign with Ligue 1 giants PSG.

PSG reportedly rejected three bids – the last one said to be worth up to €200million – from LaLiga powerhouse Madrid for Mbappe heading into the 2021-22 campaign.

Madrid have been tipped to lure Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season, though PSG are refusing to give up hope ahead of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

"Kylian Mbappe is 'formidable'. He's different, he's fantastic," Leonardo said at La Sorbonne.

"And yes, you know what we want… it's clear. We'll see."

Amid the mounting speculation, Mbappe – who has spoken openly of his desire to join Madrid at the start of the season – was asked about his future.

"Moving from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain was logical," the France international, who has nine goals and 14 assists for PSG in Ligue 1 this term, told Paris Match.

"But, now as I look ahead, there is room for the unplanned. Having fun, the surprise factor - that's part of the beauty of sport.

"Things can happen that change your mind. It's impossible to predict what I'll do in the next 20 years."

Mbappe became the youngest player in Ligue 1 history to score 100 goals for a single team with his second of the game for PSG against former club Monaco last week.

Aged just 22 years and 357 days, Mbappe is the youngest player to achieve the feat for one club in French top-flight history since Opta began recording data back in 1950-51.

 

Mauricio Pochettino has not asked to leave Paris Saint-Germain and no talks have been held with Zinedine Zidane, the club's sporting director, Leonardo, has said.

Speculation has persisted that Pochettino is one of Manchester United's top targets to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.

The Red Devils have reportedly identified the Argentine as a leading candidate, most likely for the end of the season, with Ralf Rangnick poised to take over on an interim basis for the rest of 2021-22.

The former Spurs boss, who is keen to return to the Premier League according to some reports, refused to quash the rumours following his side's 2-1 Champions League defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday.

It has also been claimed that PSG have spoken several times with former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane over the prospect of taking charge should Pochettino ask to leave.

However, Leonardo insists there has been no contact from any club about Pochettino, who is under contract until the end of next season.

"I think it's important to clarify the situation given the amount of false information circulating. Mauricio Pochettino is under contract with the club until 2023," he told AFP.

"We do not want Pochettino to leave. He never asked to leave and no club contacted us in relation to him."

Leonardo also denied claims that PSG officials met with Zidane at Paris' prestigious Royal Monceau hotel to discuss the prospect of taking charge.

"We have a lot of respect for Zinedine Zidane, for what he did as a player and coach, but I can tell you very clearly that there is no contact and that no meeting with him has taken place," he said.

"It's ridiculous to imagine that a meeting with Zinedine Zidane could have taken place in a big hotel in Paris in front of the eyes of everyone."

PSG, who lead Ligue 1 by 11 points after 14 rounds, are next in action at Saint-Etienne on Sunday.

Lionel Messi linking up with the Argentina squad while not fully fit "does not make sense", according to Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo.

The 34-year-old has endured an injury-plagued start to his PSG career since arriving on a shock free transfer three months ago after leaving Barcelona.

After sitting out last week's draw with RB Leipzig and win over Bordeaux with knee and hamstring injuries, Messi has now featured in just eight of PSG's 18 matches this season.

Despite his niggling injury issues in recent months, Messi has been included in Argentina's squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil over the next eight days.

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday he is happy for his compatriot to play for La Albiceleste as it will give him an opportunity to build up his fitness.

However, Leonardo is not pleased with Argentina's decision to call up the forward and has urged world football governing body FIFA to get involved. 

"We do not agree to release a player for national team selection who, for us, is not in physical condition or who is in the rehabilitation phase," he is quoted as saying by Le Parisien. 

"It does not make sense, and this type of situation is worthy of a ruling from FIFA."

 

Messi has played just 325 minutes of Ligue 1 action for PSG, compared to 450 minutes for Argentina across their qualifying fixtures in September and October, not including the suspended match with Brazil.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has registered three goals in his first eight appearances for the French giants but has yet to score or assist in the league.

He has had 15 shots without finding the net in Ligue 1, failing to score from an expected goals value of 1.9.

Only Clermont midfielder Jim Allevinah (16) and Troyes forward Renaud Ripart (19) have had more shots without scoring in the French top flight this term.

Indeed, Messi has netted more times for Argentina in 2021-22 than he has for PSG, with four goals in five appearances.

Leonardo has dismissed talk Paris Saint-Germain are lining up moves for Milan duo Franck Kessie and Theo Hernandez.

Kessie's contract expires at the end of this season, so the Ivory Coast midfielder will be free to talk to other clubs in January.

Milan are eager to keep the 24-year-old, who has been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, but have been unable to agree terms on a new deal.

Big-spending PSG are also reported to be eyeing up Kessie along with his team-mate Hernandez.

Yet the Ligue 1 giants' sporting director Leonardo has rubbished claims that approaches have been made for the two key Milan players.

Leonardo was previously a player, coach and director for the Rossoneri.

"We haven't contacted any player, there's nothing with Franck Kessie or Theo Hernandez," he said.

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli on Saturday responded to Leonardo's comments by saying: "I'm not going to comment on Leonardo's words. I'm interested in seeing the players available and that's it."

France left-back Hernandez is under contract with Milan until June 2024.

Leonardo defended Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mauricio Pochettino, among others, as he said criticism of Paris Saint-Germain has been unfair this season, even if their performances have been below par.

PSG are 10 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after beating defending champions Lille on Friday – a fact sporting director Leonardo was keen to reiterate – and also lead their Champions League group.

But Pochettino's side have not quite reached the standard expected of an outfit boasting three of the best players in the world in Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

PSG had to come from behind to defeat Lille 2-1, scoring an 88th-minute winner through Angel Di Maria.

It was the fifth time in this calendar year PSG have conceded first but won in Ligue 1, tying a club record, while they have now earned eight points in the final five minutes of matches this season. No other team have collected more than three.

 

Those statistics speak to the fine margins PSG are dealing with, but Leonardo expected progress would be slow and steady after a busy off-season in which Messi arrived alongside Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Nuno Mendes and Georginio Wijnaldum.

"That we have things to improve is obvious," Leonardo said. "But it is normal given the context. There have been players who have reached the end of their preparation, there have been significant changes.

"We are not where we want to be, but the team works a lot. This is very important."

Leonardo feels there has been too much criticism of PSG, suggesting negative press was "starting to exceed the limits".

He added: "To say that the coach does not understand anything about football, that he was born yesterday, that the great players we took suck...

"There are people who want to make their names by talking about PSG, it's a personal promotion.

"We don't play the way we want, but we have 10 wins, a draw and a loss. We are 10 points ahead.

"We don't play the way we want, okay, but we are on a path, we never lack effort, we know how to reverse scenarios. It was the fourth win in the 90th minute.

"You can't talk about Messi, Mbappe, Neymar, [Marco] Verratti, the coach, Marquinhos like that. Ramos, too? We knew Ramos had a problem. You are playing the game of the Spanish press. We knew everything. We know what is going on."

Ramos is yet to play for PSG since joining from Real Madrid in July, while Messi and Neymar have underwhelmed this term.

Messi still waits on his first Ligue 1 goal, making him the player to have had the most shots in the competition without scoring this season (15, including four on target).

 

Meanwhile, Neymar is enduring his longest Ligue 1 drought, going five games without a goal. However, his brilliant assist for Di Maria on Friday was his third in that time.

"Messi has spent more time with the national team than here," Leonardo said. "Neymar is the same thing, and he played a great game [against Lille]. They were decisive with Di Maria.

"I am not worried about anything. People think we don't know anything about the players, that the players are all partying. This does not correspond to the truth; if players do things wrong, we talk to them.

"Neymar is unfairly criticised. He played a very big game. If he's a player who parties every day, he doesn't play a game like that, it's impossible."

On Pochettino, Leonardo added: "Pochettino, before arriving here, was a top-five [coach]; now, supposedly, he doesn't understand anything anymore.

"We have changed things. Opinions will be formed at the end. We are in a hurry at PSG, it's normal. With a team like that, we want to win this year, that's for sure.

"If we're going to succeed, I don't know. That we have all the means, I am convinced. We have a coach, we have a very large squad. Why would I be worried? We can be better. If we look at what we have, why would I be worried?"

Real Madrid should be punished for their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe, according to Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo.

Mbappe's contract at PSG is due to expire next year and Madrid have been open in their admiration for the France international.

Madrid president Florentino Perez suggested earlier this week that Los Blancos were optimistic about getting positive news on Mbappe in January – though he quickly followed that up by saying his comments were misinterpreted.

Karim Benzema then said Mbappe moving to the Santiago Bernabeu was only "a question of time".

PSG were reported to have rejected multiple bids for Mbappe from Madrid during the most recent transfer window, though Leonardo still feels the Spanish giants have been posturing for the best part of two years in the hope of getting the striker on a free transfer, and he says their conduct should be punished.

"From Madrid they deny, but I think Real Madrid have been doing a job to buy Mbappe [on a free transfer] for a long time," Leonardo said at the Festival dello Sport.

 

"For two years they have been speaking publicly about Mbappe. This must be punished.

"From Real Madrid I see a lack of respect for Mbappe. He is not a normal player, he is one of the best in the world.

"The manager, the board, Madrid players spoke about Kylian... I think it's part of their plan. Not respectful."

Mbappe confirmed earlier this month that he wanted to leave PSG in pre-season and Madrid was the only club he wanted to join.

Nevertheless, he did not rule out signing a new deal with PSG, and his mother even claimed this week that Mbappe is still in talks over a contract extension.

"Our idea is to extend Kylian Mbappe's contract," Leonardo added. "Nothing has changed in our plans.

"Kylian is a jewel, he is incredibly perfect for PSG. Then we have Kylian, Leo [Messi], Neymar. We've never planned PSG's future without Mbappe."

 

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo hit out at Real Madrid for their "lack of respect" for the Ligue 1 giants and Kylian Mbappe amid their public pursuit of the French star.

After soon-to-be free agent Mbappe confirmed this week that he had asked to leave PSG before the start of the season, Madrid president Florentino Perez seemed to suggest the France international could join the LaLiga powerhouse in January.

While Perez claimed he was misinterpreted, Madrid star Karim Benzema said a move to the Santiago Bernabeu is a "question of time" as Los Blancos head coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters he hoped Mbappe "enjoys himself" in the Spanish capital.

Leonardo has not taken kindly to Madrid's open desire to sign the 22-year-old.

"This is another example of the lack of respect for PSG and for Mbappe," Leonardo said in an interview with L'Equipe.

"In fact, in the same week a Real Madrid player [Karim Benzema], then the Real Madrid coach [Carlo Ancelotti].

"Now the president [Florentino Perez] talks about Kylian as if he was already one of their own. I repeat: this is a lack of respect that we cannot tolerate."

Mbappe has scored four goals and supplied three assists in nine Ligue 1 appearances this season, while he is yet to add to his tally in the Champions League through two matchdays.

Paris Saint-Germain are unhappy after alleged details of Lionel Messi's contract were revealed, although sporting director Leonardo insists the terms are "completely false". 

French newspaper L'Equipe reported late on Friday that Messi's deal in Paris is worth €30million a year for three years. 

The total worth of the contract, including loyalty bonuses, is €110m, the publication claimed. 

However, Leonardo has angrily responded to the report, explaining he could not provide the correct details due to confidentiality clauses but confirming the contract only spans two seasons. 

"We can't accept this on the front page of a newspaper like L'Equipe," he said ahead of Mauricio Pochettino's pre-Lyon news conference on Saturday. 

"This is unacceptable. This is completely false. I wanted to tell you that. 

"I think it's a lack of respect and we didn't like it. I don't understand the timing. 

"This is really very far from the truth, on the duration and the numbers. There are confidentiality clauses, but I can say that this is not the truth. The duration of the contract is two years. 

"It's wrong, it's not that, and we didn't like it." 

Messi is set to make his home PSG bow against Lyon on Sunday, having played 114 minutes across two away games at Reims and Club Brugge. 

The Barcelona great was included in the starting line-up for the first time against Brugge, attempting three shots and creating a further three chances. He is still waiting on his first goal or assist. 

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo does not anticipate Kylian Mbappe leaving the Ligue 1 giants at the end of the season as he criticised the behaviour of Real Madrid.

PSG reportedly rejected three bids – the last one said to be worth up to €200million – from Madrid for Mbappe, whose contract expires at the end of the current campaign.

Mbappe is yet to re-sign in Paris, where PSG are determined to retain the World Cup-winning 22-year-old star.

LaLiga powerhouse Madrid are believed to be readying a move for Mbappe on a free transfer, but Leonardo made it clear PSG do not see their future without the France international.

"We were not happy with the behaviour of Real Madrid," Leonardo told Canal+. "Starting negotiations for one of the best players in the world in the last week of the transfer market generated a situation that we did not like.

"We were clear about our position with the offer. It was not enough, it was smaller than what we paid. The last offer they talked about never came. You can't organise a transfer market for two, three or four months and change your plans like that.

"I don't see Mbappe leaving at the end of this season. Nobody is thinking about the future of Paris Saint-Germain without Kylian.

"Kylian sort of represents the difference between the superficial and the deep. Kylian's relationship with Paris Saint-Germain is deep. That's why we don't think about anything else.

"Kylian represents many things. Not only because he is French or one of the best players in the world. He has a way of being that we like and one that everyone likes."

PSG are preparing to open their Champions League campaign at Club Brugge on Wednesday.

Since the start of the 2017-18 season, only Robert Lewandowski (41) has been directly involved in more goals in the Champions League than Mbappe (37 – 21 goals, 16 assists).

Across the last four Champions League campaigns (since 2017-18), only six players have been directly involved in 30-plus goals in the competition. Half of these currently play for PSG, with Mbappe (37), Lionel Messi (36) and Neymar (31) all doing so.

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