Mauricio Pochettino believes staying at Paris Saint-Germain would be the best thing for Kylian Mbappe.
The superstar striker is out of contract at the end of the season and has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid, but recent reports have suggested he may yet sign a new deal with his hometown club.
Mbappe has scored 28 goals in 38 games for PSG in all competitions this season, with his 45 direct goal involvements dwarfing the tallies of Messi (18) and Neymar (12).
On Sunday, Mbappe was involved in all five of PSG’s goals in a 5-1 hammering of Lorient, scoring twice and providing three assists. It was the first time in his club career that he had been involved in as many goals in a single match.
Once again pressed on Mbappe’s future ahead of Saturday’s trip to Clermont, Pochettino told a media conference: “When Kylian is here, you can ask him and he can give you a better answer. PSG, just like me as the coach, want the best for Kylian and the club.
“We think that the best thing for this club is for Mbappe to stay, and we think it is also good for Kylian to stay here with us. Then, there are negotiations that have to serve to reach an agreement.”
Pochettino also believes that Mbappe has made significant strides in his development since he took over from Thomas Tuchel in January of last year.
“Kylian is a clear example of how, when we arrived, his form wasn’t as everyone expected it to be,” Pochettino said.
“But thanks to his hard work and the commitment and confidence that we have generated here, particularly over the last year, he has shown what a fantastic player he is.
“The most important thing here is his commitment and his ability to turn around difficult situations because when we arrived here it was a difficult time for him.
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Pochettino will be without several players through injury for Saturday’s match, and also confirmed he will rest Marquinhos after his captain’s partner recently gave birth.
“[Marquinhos] has had a few niggles and so we have decided to give him a rest, especially given the week he has had with the birth of his daughter,” Pochettino added.
When asked if Mbappe could take the armband in the Brazilian’s absence, Pochettino replied: “I think that is possible for Mbappe and other players as well. Kylian is certainly part of the possible group.”