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PSG not disrupted by Mbappe reports, says coach Galtier

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Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe (R) leaves the pitch after he is substituted by Paris Saint-Germain’s French head coach Christophe Galtier (L) during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and SL Benfica, at The Parc des Princes Stadium, on October 11, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier said rumors about Kylian Mbappe’s future did not disrupt his team’s preparations for Tuesday’s Champions League match against Benfica.

Stuttering PSG was held to a third straight draw as the game at the Parc des Princes ended 1-1 after Mbappe put them ahead from the penalty spot just before half-time.

It came after various media reports in Spain and France earlier in the day suggested Mbappe would seek to leave PSG in the January transfer window, despite only signing a new three-year contract at the end of last season.

“I know nothing,” Galtier said when asked about the reports following Tuesday’s game.

“All I know is that a rumor became a story and then that almost became a declaration.

“I found it very surprising that such a story should come out just before such a big game.”

He added: “I didn’t see anything unusual in Kylian’s preparation for the game, and he played with a lot of rhythm and intensity and gave a response to the rumors.

“We remained focused on the match and I don’t think the rumor disrupted our preparations.”

Mbappe’s goal was his 12th of the season for his club in 13 games but he is reportedly unhappy at his positioning in the PSG team and that the Qatar-owned outfit did not sign a top-class center-forward in the close season.

He had been expected to move to Real Madrid at the end of the last campaign before opting to stay in Paris with the club he first joined from Monaco in 2017.

Galtier questioned the motivation behind the reports coming out when they did, with PSG — minus the injured Lionel Messi — missing the chance to secure qualification for the Champions League last 16 with two group games to spare following the draw.

“That this rumor should emerge just four or five hours before this game, I am entitled to be surprised,” he said.

“Who does this rumor help? Who is it useful to? Not us.”

PSG, who play Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday, are next in Champions League action at home to Maccabi Haifa on October 25.

A win in that game will secure PSG’s place in the knockout phase.


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