The PSG president promises to make “a lot of changes” to create a “new era” at the club

Even as recently as two weeks ago, it seemed so improbable Kylian Mbappe He will remain in the French capital. Pictures and videos of him having dinner in Madrid have surfaced, with a move to Real Madrid starting to look inevitable.

After a tumultuous season that saw Paris Saint-Germain win only the Ligue 1 title – a title which coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted was “not enough” to keep pace with the club’s ambitions – and a dramatic collapse once again in the Champions League, it was hard to imagine a bright future. For the French team if he left Mbappe for free.

Even with Lionel Messi and Neymar in the ranks of PSG, there is no doubt that Mbappe is the club’s most expensive player both on the pitch and economically.

There is a clear sense of relief around the Parc des Princes as PSG managed to convince its young star to sign a new three-year contract, but Al-Khelaifi insists there is still plenty of work to do over the summer.

“There’s definitely a lot of changes that are going to happen,” PSG president told CNN correspondent Amanda Davis in Paris. “We will probably announce it [at the] weekend.”

Those words will sound especially ominous to Pochettino and PSG sporting director Leonardo, as speculation grows about the pair’s future at the Paris club.

When pressed about whether there would be a new manager in charge of the dugout, Al-Khelaifi replied: “We want to create a new era for PSG; a new project, fresh air. I think it’s really important for everyone to get motivated again.”

“Losing the Champions League was not easy and I take responsibility for it [for]Al-Khelaifi added, referring to the loss of the quarter-final against Real Madrid, despite the fact that Paris Saint-Germain controlled both the home and away matches.
“I’m the boss and I’m responsible, but anything that can happen and anything that will happen in the future. I don’t blame anyone, no matter who stays or leaves, I’m one of the first to be responsible for anything, the results.”

“So I don’t blame anyone and that’s really important to me, but in the end, you know, we have choices to make. We have decisions to make.”

“we [will] Take some, some are coming soon and I think that’s really basically what we want to achieve [is] To be stronger than last season – that’s the only goal I want, to be bigger than last season.”

Kylian Mbappe refused the opportunity to sign for Real Madrid.

“We are one of the big clubs”

Despite rumors of Mbappe leaving for months, Al-Khelaifi claims he’s always been “really confident” the 23-year-old will stay in Paris.

But this season may have been more difficult than anyone at the club could have imagined. When Paris Saint-Germain announced last summer that they had signed Messi, one of the greatest players of all time, as a free agent following his departure from Barcelona, ​​few expected the squad to perform as well as he did.

Even the silver champion of the season, the team winning the Ligue 1 title, was greeted with disdain by the fans. After Paris Saint-Germain drew 1-1 at home against Lens to achieve a French title equal to the record ten, large sections of the Parc des Princes fans booed their team in the first half, before leaving the stadium 15 minutes before the end of the match. .

Frustrated by the team’s embarrassing surrender against Real Madrid in the Champions League, fans almost emptied the stadium within 10 minutes of the full-time whistle. Players even skipped the traditional honor round after winning the league.

Al-Khelaifi admits that there are “a lot of things” that have not gone well this season.

“We won the first division, which people said is really easy, but winning the title is not easy,” he said. “[In the] Champions League, honestly I think we didn’t play badly until 65 minutes into the second game against Real when we controlled the whole game.

Even with Mbappe, Neymar and Messi, PSG failed to win the Champions League.

“Here we have to win four goals, but Real won and deserved to win. Congratulations to them. That’s the truth. There are more details in the Champions League, always the little details and you have to be lucky and you also have to secure yourself, the players and all the staff.”

“We really think we’re one of the big clubs today, and I really think that myself, and everyone needs to believe that and work on that. When you wear the PSG shirt, you’re a top player for a big club and you’re just winning here, that’s the mentality we want to create.

“It’s not easy sometimes, we know, but that’s what we want to build up the spirit and winning mentality.”

‘There is love’

Much of the talk about Mbappe’s new deal revolved around the staggering sums of money he received; Al-Khelaifi says he met Mbappe and his family on numerous occasions during the negotiation process, but insists they talked about “nothing but football”.

By staying at Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappe becomes the world’s highest-paid footballer with a salary of around £1m ($1.25m) a week after he paid an entry fee of around £100m ($125m), according to Sky Sports.

But instead, Al-Khelaifi believes Mbappe was motivated solely by the sporting project offered by PSG and the opportunity to continue representing his hometown club at the highest level.

“The only thing they care about: just sports and football,” he said. “We have the same goal… Basically, we want to win and he wants to win. He’s a fighter; he’s a winner.

“Don’t forget, he’s Parisian, he’s French. He loves his country. He loves his club. He’s played for the club for five years, there’s a relationship. There’s love between him, the club, the fans and his country so I think it was really important and people probably underestimated him.”

“They think it’s just a contract and who can offer more, which it isn’t [true] Absolutely. I think we are really amazing. Besides being a great player, the best player in the world, he’s a great person too.”