War of Words Escalates Between PSG & Real Madrid as French Club Accuses Spanish Giants of Disrespect
10:29 GMT 06.10.2021 (Updated: 11:43 GMT 10.12.2022)
© AP Photo / Christophe EnaPSG's Kylian Mbappe looks on during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021
© AP Photo / Christophe Ena
World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe's potential switch to Real Madrid has now transformed into an ever escalating war of words between the two iconic clubs.
Sporting director of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Brazilian Leonardo Nascimento de Araujo has slammed 13-time Champions League winners Real Madrid as he claimed that they are making a mockery of French star Kylian Mbappe's association with the Paris-based club.
Leonardo's scathing remarks came after Real president Florentino Perez hinted a deal for Mbappe has already been sealed by Cristiano Ronaldo's former side.
"This is another example of the lack of respect for PSG and for Mbappe," Leonardo told French outlet L'Equipe."In fact, in the same week a Real Madrid player, then the Real Madrid and now the president talk about Kylian as if he was already one of their own. I repeat: this is a lack of respect that we cannot tolerate," he added.
During the summer transfer window, Mbappe was said to be about to move to Madrid. However, the deal fell through because Leonardo wouldn't let the Frenchman leave despite the way he snubbed PSG's latest contract offer.
Mbappe, who receives a staggering $20 million a year from PSG besides performance-linked bonuses, turned down the new contract, despite the French side offering him a significant salary hike and an option to stay at the club for one more year.
But Perez appeared quite confident about landing Mbappe at the Santiago Bernabeu by January when reporters asked him last week if Real Madrid was still in hot pursuit of the prodigious forward.
"In January we will have news from Mbappe. We hope that on January 1 everything can be solved," Perez told the Spanish media.
Even though the Real president later went back on his remarks as he realised that it could jeopardise the Spaniards' relationship with PSG, Leonardo's accusations have confirmed that his worst fears have turned out to be true.
"My words were not interpreted well. What I said is that we'll have to wait until next year for any news, remaining respectful towards PSG, with whom we maintain good relations," Perez said in a conversation with French radio station RMC.
Despite Perez's clarification, it is no secret that Real Madrid have been hotly pursuing Mbappe.
They certainly weren't backward during the summer transfer window in trying to secure Mbappe's departure from Parc des Princes, making three massive offers, their last bid only hours before the 31 August deadline.
But the Los Blancos couldn't secure the deal despite raising their offer from $188 million to $211 million and then to $262 million, as the Parisian club rejected their advances to keep the French star with them for at least one more year.