Mauricio Pochettino believes staying at Paris Saint-Germain would be the best thing for Kylian Mbappe.
The high-profile striker is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, but recent reports suggest he may sign a new contract with his hometown club.
Mbappe has scored 28 goals in 38 games for PSG in all competitions this season, scoring 45 direct goals to surpass the numbers of Messi (18) and Neymar (12).
On Sunday, Mbappe took part in all of PSG’s five goals in beating Lorient 5-1, scoring twice, and providing three assistants. It was the first time in his teamwork that he had participated in so many goals in one game.
Emphasizing Mbappe’s future ahead of Saturday’s trip to Clermont, Pochettino told a news conference: “If Kylian is here, you can ask him and he can give you a better answer. PSG, like me as a coach, wants the best for Kylian and the club.
“We think the best thing for this club is for Mbappe to stay, and we think it’s good for Kylian to stay with us here. Then there are negotiations that need to work out to reach an agreement.”
Pochettino also believes Mbappe has made a significant step in his development since taking over from Thomas Tuchel in January last year.
“Kylian is a clear example of the fact that, when we arrived, his form was not what everyone expected,” Pochettino said.
“But thanks to his hard work and dedication and the confidence we have produced here, especially last year, he has shown that he is a great player.
“The most important thing here is his dedication and his ability to change difficult situations because when we got here it was a difficult time for him.
Pochettino will be out with a handful of players due to injury in Saturday’s game and has confirmed he will be resting Marquinhos after his captain’s teammate had just given birth.
“[Marquinhos] has had a few setbacks so we decided to give him a break, especially considering the week he had with his daughter,” added Pochettino.
When asked if Mbappe could take the belt if the Brazilian player is not available, Pochettino replied: “I think that could happen to Mbappe and the other players. Kylian is part of the team that is possible.”