MAURICIO POCHETTINO is confident that Kylian Mbappe will remain at Paris Saint-Germain for ‘many years to come’.
And the former Spurs boss also poured cold water over claims that he rejected Real Madrid – while opening the door to the LaLiga champions’ skipper to join him at Parc des Princes.
Pochettino, 48, is confident of keeping Kylian Mbappe at the clubCredit: Reuters
The Argentine sat down with Spanish paper Marca
Pochettino, 48, returned to management earlier this month with the French giants, winning four of his first five games in charge.
And as he gets his feet under the table, he has given a wide ranging interview with Spanish paper Marca.
Among the topics covered was superstar forward Kylian Mbappe, whose contract expires in 18 months.
Despite his precarious contractual situation, as well as reports suggesting that PSG could sell to Real Madrid or Liverpool, Pochettino is confident of retaining his star man.
He said: “There are a lot of rumours, but I think he will be at PSG for many years to come, and that’s the club’s hope.
“We are counting on him for as long as we are here. It’s true that he has to make a decision [on his future], but he seems happy and very committed to this project.
And on Mbappe’s quality, Pochettino gushed: “Who doesn’t love Kylian? we say to each other.
“He makes himself loved, with his smile, his face and his energy. At the age of 19 he was a world champion [with France], impressive things have happened to him, but he is special and different, with a lot of emotional intelligence.
Mbappe, 22, has netted 14 goals in 17 Ligue 1 outings this seasonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
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“He has a lot of potential to develop but he is already [someone for the] present, not just the future. It’s a challenge and a good thing to work with this kind of talent, it makes you a better coach.
“You give this type of player a solution and he gives you five back.”
Rumours were rife that Pochettino was in the frame to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
But the Argentine has revealed that this was not the case.
He continued: “This is not the case, although there was a lot of talk at the time.
“We have a lot of respect for the teams that may have been interested in our staff.
“It wasn’t like that and of course I have been approached by clubs, but the one we received with love was from PSG. And this is the ideal project.”
Pochettino has poured cold water on rumours he rejected Real MadridCredit: EPA
PSG have been linked with Real Madrid defender Sergio RamosCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Quizzed more specifically over whether he turned down Florentino Perez, he added: “Of course, that never happened. Clubs are always above the individual and anyone who can say such a thing is out of place.”
PSG have been linked with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, 34, whose contract expires this summer.
And Pochettino admitted that the Spaniard would be welcome to join him in the French capital.
He said: “After one month [at PSG] I am finding players with great leadership.
“The great [players] are able to play and coexist in different projects and cultures, but I am very respectful.
“PSG’s strategy has been the same for years, ever since we signed Ronaldinho: to look at market opportunities and bring in those who can improve what we have.
“We will see in the coming months. Here, Ramos would find a great club with the obsession to always win. PSG are one of the biggest [clubs] in the world.”