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Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insists that Kylian Mbappe never actually wanted to leave the Ligue 1 club – even as he asked to join Real Madrid last summer.

Mbappe was also close to moving to the Santiago Bernabeu on a free transfer this summer before signing a fresh extension to stay at PSG.

The decision caused uproar in Spain, with Liga chief Javier Tebas even filing an official complaint to UEFA over the striker’s new deal.

He told Marca:

I have great respect for Real Madrid as a club, they’re a great club, but Kylian has never decided to renew for the money, that’s the first thing.

Madrid’s offer was better than ours. He is our player and he had other clubs in England as well as Madrid, but he chose PSG and we didn’t talk to him or his family about money until the last moment.

Kylian was above all interested in the project, in football and sport. He is Parisian, he is French, and he wanted to stay here to represent his city and his country, his club, and it is not fair what has been said about him.

For them, money is not the most important thing, they want to win and they want a sporting project.

I don’t know what Madrid says, whether it was days or months ago. I know 18 months ago that Mbappe wanted to stay.

I heard that Madrid said he wanted to play for Madrid, but it wasn’t true. We are talking now about Madrid’s latest offer, but in the summer they made an offer of 170 and 180 million euros.

That means that Madrid’s offer, plus his salary, was already better than ours, as it is now. I turned down 180 [million euros] and they told me I was crazy, people I trusted, because he could leave for free, but I did it because I was sure Kylian was going to stay because I know him and his family well, I know what he wants.

Kylian is very serious, professional, and he wants to play and win, he doesn’t care about money. I understand that Madrid are disappointed, but it’s not fair to say that about Mbappe.

When asked if he is worried about Tebas’ lawsuit in the French courts and in Europe, the PSG president said:

Who is Tebas? I don’t know that person. Our style is not to interfere in the affairs of other clubs, other leagues or federations, it is not our style.

But I am not going to accept that others give us lessons. I don’t care what he says, the truth is, we have been talking about this for years. We have a football project to build and we are going to go ahead.

We’re not worried about everything that comes out in the media, because we can’t waste our time with everything that comes out.

By Amara

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