Luis Enrique, the new PSG coach, dodges questions about Mbappé

(CNN) — Luis Enrique, the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain, avoided many questions about the future of the club’s striker, Kylian Mbappé, during his official presentation on Wednesday.

Luis Enrique, former coach of Barcelona and the Spanish national team, has signed a two-year contract with the French club. In this context, the media have repeatedly asked him about the possibility of Mbappé leaving PSG this summer.

Despite publicly saying he wants to stay in Paris for the upcoming 2023/24 season, the 24-year-old is said not to be happy in the French capital and according to several reports last month, Mbappé has informed PSG that he will not extend his contract. , which leaves the club at a crossroads: sell their star player this summer or let him go for free in 2024.

But the Spanish coach avoided saying anything specific about the future of the top scorer in the club’s history. When asked if he can guarantee Mbappé’s stay next season, he replied: “This is a professional secret and I can’t tell you anything in advance, but we will try to have the best team possible.”

“When I signed I knew that everything was open in the squad. Things can happen on the transfer market. He has a contract and we don’t know what happens behind the scenes because things change all the time. We will have a strong team, I’m sure.”

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was more emphatic: “Our position is very clear, very clear. If Kylian Mbappé wants to stay, we want him to stay. But he has to sign a new contract.”

“We can’t let the best player in the world go free. It’s impossible. This is a French club and, as he said, it has no plans to go free. If someone changed their mind, it’s not our fault. We won’t let one go free. of the best players in the world, that’s very clear.”

Mbappé’s future is one of the great unknowns hanging over Luis Enrique’s start as PSG coach, following his incorporation this Wednesday.

“I have all the players who have contracts, both the current ones and the ones we are looking to sign. I have those players too,” said the Spaniard.

“Who I am is something that is part of everyday life and the transfer market and football are constantly evolving, but I’m sure we will have a great team, a great team and the fans will be proud. What am I talking about at [Al-Khelaifi] the president and I are interested, and mr. [asesor de fútbol del PSG, Luis] Fields”.

Luis Enrique comes as a very successful manager, having won a Champions League, two league titles and three Copas del Rey during his time as Barcelona manager.

Luis Enrique shakes hands with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi during his presentation. (Credit: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

The 53-year-old coach has also guided Spain to two stages, most notably the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and the UEFA Nations League Final in 2021. He has also managed Italian-based Roma and Spanish side Celta de Vigo.

Before becoming manager, Luis Enrique was also a successful player, with trophy-filled spells at Real Madrid and Barça.

In both teams he won three league titles and three national cups.

During his time as a player, he was also a regular for the Spanish team, with whom he played 62 games.

Luis Enrique replaces Christophe Galtier, who was fired this Wednesday.

In a declarationPSG paid “tribute to Galtier’s professionalism and commitment” during his year at the club.

In his one season in charge, Galtier won the Scudetto, the 11th Ligue 1 trophy, which makes PSG the most successful club in the history of the French league.

However, despite the plethora of stars in the squad, PSG once again suffered a humiliating elimination from the Champions League in the round of 16, losing to Bayern Munich.

In early July, the French prosecutor’s office announced that Galtier will stand trial in Nice, France, on charges of psychological harassment and racial discrimination.

The prosecution’s press release said his office had opened a preliminary investigation into Galtier and his son, John Valovic, following press reports in April that Galtier had made statements that he had too many black and Muslim players in his squad.

CNN contacted Galtier’s representation and PSG for comment, but received no response.

In a statement released in April by Galtier’s lawyer, the coach “strongly denies” the allegations, calling them “insulting and defamatory”. Galtier’s attorney, Olivier Martin, later announced the immediate opening of the “necessary legal proceedings” in the statement.

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