Rothen: “I don’t think Mbappe is convinced to stay”

Photo: Tribuna

Jerome Rothen has called on Kylian Mbappe to supply clarity on his contract situation at Paris Saint-Germain, with ongoing reports of interest from Real Madrid considered to possess turned the top of a World Cup winner.

Transfer speculation is nothing new for one among the foremost sought-after players in world football, but a talented 22-year-old is doing little to silence the rumours as he continues to delay the signing of fresh terms at Parc des Princes. Rothen isn’t convinced that a fearsome frontman wants to remain put, but is keen to means that nobody player is greater than the Ligue 1 title holders and that they will still thrive with or without Mbappe.

Rothen: “Is he convinced to stay at PSG? I don’t think so, since otherwise his contract would have already been extended. I think he felt that his future lay elsewhere. It is not a criticism, he has the right to think like that. I have the impression that he sometimes hides certain truths.”

“It feels like he’s not being direct and I don’t like that very much. Because it means that you are an opportunist, that your goal was to go to Real Madrid, but given the financial context of Madrid, you can’t anymore. That’s not very honest.”

“My message to him is ‘be clearer’. The club will continue with or without him.”

The France international, who has hit 116 goals for PSG through 157 appearances, has continued to play cards on the brink of his chest when it involves big future calls. He has been reluctant to be drawn into a debate regarding a replacement deal in Paris, despite his current contract being thanks to expire within the summer of 2022.

Others at Parc des Princes have stated a desire for a definitive decision to be made, with sporting director Leonardo trying to find a distracting saga to be delivered to an in depth .

Mbappe isn’t the sole superstar performer to be approaching the ultimate 12 months of his current contract. Brazilian forward Neymar is during a similar situation, but Leonardo has stated his belief that two notable deals are going to be done.

Al-Khelaifi: “Mbappe and Neymar are staying”

Photo: Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has declared that Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are going nowhere despite the constant speculation surrounding their future, with the superstars being backed to stay at Parc des Princes “forever”.

Brazil and France international strikers are yet to plan to fresh terms and can see their respective contracts expire within the summer of 2022. Moves elsewhere are being mooted, amid talk about interest from the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid, but positive progress continues to be made by PSG – with Barcelona knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage this season – and Al-Khelaifi is feeling bullish.

The PSG president has told RMC Sport: “Mbappe and Neymar are Parisians and they will stay in Paris forever.”

Two iconic figures within the global game have continued to play their cards on the brink of their chest when it involves future plans. Neymar is taken into account to be the closest to agreeing an extended stay within the Paris , with a deal on the table there, but no official announcement has been made so far. Mbappe has also sought to steer around questions regarding his intentions, but there are calls from prominent figures at PSG for decisions to be made quickly in order that long-term plans are often put on hold.

For now, the Ligue 1 title holders are revelling within the incontrovertible fact that they need dumped La Liga giants Barca out of Europe. A 4-1 win at Camp Nou laid the groundwork for that success, with Mbappe netting a shocking hat-trick in Catalunya.

Ronald Koeman’s side fought back in Paris, as they sought a repeat of their remarkable turnaround against an equivalent opponents from 2017, but variety of missed opportunities meant that a 1-1 draw was nowhere near enough for them.

Al-Khelaifi said: “It is a great honour to be in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. I have already forgotten what happened four years ago. It will remain in history, but we’ve played and that we have knocked out an excellent Barcelona team. We are within the last eight.”

Dijon 1 – 6 PSG

Kylian Mbappe and Sarabia shined as Paris Saint-Germain easily crushed Dijon 6 – 1 in the Coupe de France quarter-finals.

An own goal from Wesley Lautoa opened the scoring for PSG after just 48 seconds, but Thomas Tuchel’s team were answered back by Mounir Chouiar in the 13th minute. Mbappe made it 2 – 1 before half-time. Later on, Thiago Silva and Sarabia made sure of progression to the last four.

PSG’s fifth goal came as Coulibaly inadvertently diverted Mbappe’s shot into the net before the French wonderkid laid an injury-time second on a plate for Sarabia to round off a rout.

Mitchel Bakker, making his full debut after coming off the bench in the previous round, supplied the cross that broke the lock inside the first minute, Lautoa inexplicably sending his low delivery beyond Runar Alex Runarsson.

However, Dijon responded by capitalising on a PSG error, Ander Herrera losing possession in midfield and Chouiar roaming to the edge of the area before finding the bottom-right corner with a precise shot.

Silva presented Jhonder Cadiz with a huge chance to put Dijon ahead before half-time, but the Venezuelan international shot wide when  he was clean through on goal.

Mbappe then showed him how it should be done, confidently giving PSG an advantage after being played down the right side by Draxler. Silva increased PSG’s lead with a decent header from Sarabia’s corner after.

Sarabia also scored by converting on the rebound following an effort from Mbappe, who atoned for a horrible miss with a deflected lob over Runarsson and then presented the former Sevilla player with a 91st-minute goal.

PSG will visit Amiens on Saturday before the away match against Dortmund three days later.

Meunier: “I don’t fear Haaland”

The Belgian international says that while the Bundesliga team is quite dangerous going forward, they can be definitely be exploited defensively.

PSG’s full-back, Thomas Meunier, said that he does not fear the challenge posed to his team by Borussia Dortmund’s wonderkid striker Erling Haaland.

Since moving to Borussia in the January transfer window from Red Bull Salzburg, the 19-year-old has been in astonishing form, scoring seven times in just three matches and adding another for good measure in a 3 – 2 DFB Pokal loss over Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

The teenager has scored in each game he has played for Dortmund, despite playing less than 200 minutes of football for his new team, and with a Champions League meeting against PSG coming at the end of the month, he will have the opportunity to prove himself on further stages after scoring eight goals for Salzburg in the group phase.

Meunier, who has been in PSG since moving from Club Brugge in the summer of 2016 and has experienced the disappointment of falling out at the last-16 stage of the competition in every season, says that Haaland is not a player who is particularly worry for the Ligue 1 leaders.

“Fear him? I don’t know him especially. He’s got very good numbers, which underline that Dortmund score an enormous number of goals, but they’re also a team that concedes a lot of goals.”

“On paper, PSG can beat any team. It’s up to us to ensure that we qualify.”

Before the encounter with the Germans, PSG have a Sunday derby match-up with Lyon to negotiate then a Coupe de France quarter-final away to Dijon. They will then travel to Amiens and finally face Dortmund on February 18.

PSG are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s loss to Manchester United, when they won 2 – 0 at Old Trafford before choking to a 3 – 1 defeat at home.

Rivaldo: “Cavani would be magnificent for Barcelona”

Barcelona’s legend feels the experienced Uruguayan striker could be the answer for La Liga champions as they seek to bring in another goalscorer.

Edinson Cavani would be “a magnificent improvement for Barcelona’s attack”, says Rivaldo, as Blaugrana are urged to join in on the race for the Paris Saint-Germain striker now that Luis Suarez is injured.

The reigning Liga champions find themselves without a proven striker after seeing the Uruguayan international struck with a serious knee injury, and it could be that they turn to a fellow countryman of Suarez for replacement.

Cavani is looking for a way out of PSG in this winter transfer window and has seen various destinations mooted. Atletico Madrid are considered to be leading the chase when it comes to Spanish acquisitors, but Barca may be tempted to join the hunt if they feel that the 32-year-old could helpt their cause.

Legendary Rivaldo thinks serious consideration should be given to making a move, with the Camp Nou icon telling Betfair: “Cavani would be a magnificent improvement for Barcelona’s attack now that Suarez is out for quite some time.”

“After all, Cavani is a top forward who has always got his goals in Europe’s top leagues. In his case it seems he’s really close to leaving PSG and it would be a very good opportunity.”