Kylian Mbappe has revealed French president Emmanuel Macron pleaded with him to reject a transfer offer from Real Madrid and stay at Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
The PSG forward and World Cup winner was the subject of a long-running saga over his future last season, which was put to an end when he signed a new three-year contract with the French club in May.
In doing so, Mbappe rejected the chance to move to Real Madrid as a free agent while PSG had turned down offers for the 23-year-old reportedly worth €200m the previous summer.
But in an interview with the New York Times, Mbappe revealed that he received a phone call from Macron while he was making his decision, with the president of France advising him to stay.
Mbappe said Macron told him he did not want him to move to Real Madrid, adding that he was “important to the county” and “everyone will be happy” if he stayed in France.
While the striker said he made up his own mind to remain at the Parc des Princes, he did admit Macron’s phone call had an influence.
“Of course when the President tells you that, it counts but as I said before, it was my decision,” Mbappe said. “I would never have imagined talking about my future, the future of my career with the President.”
In previous interviews, Macron had denied having an involvement in Mbappe’s future or wider transfer business at French clubs.
“I assure you, I don’t intervene on any player transfers,” Macron said, according to French Football News. “I am like each citizen when it comes to sport, I want to see good play and to support the a team, like Marseille.
“I had a discussion with Kylian Mbappé in passing, simply to advise him to stay in France.”