PSG coach Enrique hoping for solution to Mbappe dispute – Reuters

[1/2]Soccer Football – Paris St Germain Press Conference – Paris Saint-Germain Training Centre, Poissy, France – August 11, 2023 Paris St Germain coach Luis Enrique during the press conference REUTERS/Christian Hartmann Acquire Licensing Rights
Aug 11 (Reuters) – Manager Luis Enrique said on Friday he hopes Paris Saint-Germain can find a solution to a dispute with Kylian Mbappe, noting the Ligue 1 club have prior experience in resolving contract issues with the French star.
Relations between Mbappe and PSG have been tense since the French forward said he would not renew his contract which expires at the end of the 2023-24 season, when he could leave Paris for free.
PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said they will not let him go on a free transfer after the club spent 180 million euros to sign him, with the forward reportedly having been frozen out of the Ligue 1 champions' main squad.
This is not the first time PSG and Mbappe have been involved in a contract standoff. Mbappe was also set to leave on a free transfer at the end of the 2021-22 season, but after PSG rejected a bid from Real Madrid he signed a contract extension.
Asked about Mbappe ahead of Saturday's season-opening home match against Lorient, Enrique told reporters: "It's a subject we've come across before and a solution was found between the club and the player.
"That's what I'd like to see. The philosophy of this club is very clear: that the club is above all else and I share that 100%."
Mbappe is not the only player tipped to leave the Parc des Princes in the close season window, with French media reporting that record signing Neymar and Italian midfielder Marco Verratti have been deemed surplus to requirements.
Enrique declined to comment on the conversations he has had with the duo since taking charge of the club in July, but added: "I invite you to be attentive to my actions because it is my decisions that will express my opinion."
PSG have been heavily linked with a move for Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, with Enrique confirming that the club was close to completing the transfer.
"He's not a PSG player yet, he won't be here tomorrow. There's a little something missing. Not 100%, but 99% he's a PSG player," Enrique said.
Enrique also outlined the style of play he wants to implement at PSG as they look to win a record-extending 12th Ligue 1 title and challenge for the Champions League – a trophy that has eluded them despite their domestic dominance.
"I want total football, attacking football, pressing football. We're professionals and we want to bring joy. I can sense that from what the players tell me. The pace is very high in training," Enrique said.
Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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