I hope Mbappe enjoys Real Madrid! Ancelotti responds to Benzema transfer claim

By Sports Desk October 02, 2021

Carlo Ancelotti said he hoped Kylian Mbappe "enjoys himself" at Real Madrid after Karim Benzema predicted the Paris Saint-Germain star would move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

In an interview with L'Equipe, Benzema claimed it was a matter of time until his international team-mate signs for Los Blancos.

Madrid reportedly saw three bids rejected by PSG for the France star during the transfer window, the last one said to be worth €200million.

Yet with Mbappe's contract expiring at the end of the season and no sign of an extension, the 22-year-old will be free to speak with foreign clubs over a possible free transfer from January onwards.

When asked about Benzema's comments ahead of Madrid's LaLiga clash with Espanyol, Ancelotti replied: "I hope Mbappe enjoys himself because Madrid are the biggest club in the world!"

Madrid's trip to Barcelona comes in the week when they were stunned by Champions League debutants Sheriff 2-1 at home.

Having won five matches in a row, Madrid are now without a victory in their previous two, having been held 0-0 at home by Villarreal in their most recent league match.

Ancelotti has been losing sleep over those recent results but is not concerned by recent criticism of his side or his methods.

 

"The game against Sheriff hurt our pride. We'll react and give everything tomorrow, as we did against Sheriff," Ancelotti said.

"It's true we committed small mistakes, weren't precise enough in finishing, in passing, in their few chances.

"It affected me physically because I don't sleep, and I think about what happened. When you don't win, you don't sleep.

"I accept it [criticism], whether it's fair or unfair, you have to accept it. It's normal. I have a fantastic position, and I'm lucky to be here, and you have to accept that they can criticise you.

"We need to have more balance and really assess what's happening to us. We have struggled for goals in our last two games and we need to address that in our next game. I don't think that it’s a case of this being a tough time, but it is certainly tougher than it was before, but we have to solve it by playing with balance and energy."

This weekend also sees a clash between champions Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, a game Ancelotti plans to watch as he expects both to be their main title rivals this term.

"We're going to fight with those two until the end. Atleti are maybe better coming into it," he said.

"I'm going to watch because they're two big teams, but if we do what we need to do, we're going to fight for titles."

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  • Paris mayor jubliant amid reports Mbappe will snub Real Madrid to stay at PSG Paris mayor jubliant amid reports Mbappe will snub Real Madrid to stay at PSG

    Kylian Mbappe looks set to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, and reports of his decision to turn down a move to Real Madrid have been welcomed by the mayor of the French capital.

    Anne Hidalgo, who has been serving as the mayor of Paris since 2014, was quick to react to news that the superstar striker is seemingly poised to extend his contract.

    The saga that had seen PSG and Madrid in a tug-of-war over the France international's services looks to have been won by the Ligue 1 champions.

    Widespread reports in France and Spain on Saturday assured that the decision has been made, and that 23-year-old World Cup winner Mbappe has picked his home city club over the Spanish champions.

    Reacting to a report by RMC Sport, Hidalgo wrote on Twitter, "Que bien!!!!", which translates as "How good!!!!", accompanied by red and blue hearts – the colours of PSG.

    Assuming it is confirmed, the coup of PSG keeping Mbappe will be widely seen as a major fillip for the city of Paris, which will host the 2024 Olympic Games and Paralympics.

  • Mbappe turns down Real Madrid to stay put at Paris Saint-Germain – reports Mbappe turns down Real Madrid to stay put at Paris Saint-Germain – reports

    Kylian Mbappe has decided to stay at Paris Saint-Germain instead of joining Real Madrid, according to multiple reports.

    Real Madrid were widely expected to sign Mbappe as a free agent following the expiration of his contract.

    However, PSG were determined to keep the 23-year-old forward – who has been in sensational form this season – and they now seem to have won that battle.

    Earlier this week the pendulum seemed to have swung firmly in Madrid's direction, with reports suggesting talks between Mbappe and PSG's Qatari owners had not swayed the striker, and that he wanted to join Los Blancos.

     

    Mbappe's mother and agent confirmed on Friday that agreements had been reached with both clubs and a decision would be made over the weekend.

    On Saturday, multiple major publications in France, including L'Equipe and Le Parisien, as well as ESPN, reported the former Monaco striker will be staying put.

    No details were put forward as to the length of Mbappe's new contract, though it was suggested the France star could confirm his decision at the Parc des Princes following PSG's season-ending match against Metz on Saturday.

    Mbappe is the club's second-highest goalscorer in their history, behind Edinson Cavani, having overtaken Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he netted for the 157th time in a PSG shirt earlier this season.

    The news will come as a blow to Madrid, who face Liverpool in the Champions League final next week.

    Los Blancos had also been linked with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, but he has decided to join Manchester City, and it appears as though Madrid president Florentino Perez will be made to wait for his next Galactico.

  • 'We do not enter this equation' – Barcelona never in the running for Mbappe or Haaland, says Xavi 'We do not enter this equation' – Barcelona never in the running for Mbappe or Haaland, says Xavi

    Xavi has insisted Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland were never realistic targets for Barcelona, though he is confident he will have money to invest in the squad. 

    Barca wrap up what has been a turbulent season against Villarreal on Sunday. 

    The Blaugrana will finish second in LaLiga, a testament to the work done by Xavi since he replaced the much-maligned Ronald Koeman earlier in the campaign. 

    However, they were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage and fell to a defeat to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals, while there was no success in the Copa del Rey either. 

    The 2021-22 season came on the back of Lionel Messi's shock departure, as Barca grappled with financial issues that saw the superstar leave for Paris Saint-Germain. 

    Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore arrived to bolster the squad in January, though the latter two were on a free transfer and a loan respectively. 

    Barca were linked with moves for Mbappe and Haaland. However, Mbappe is weighing up offers from Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid while Haaland is joining Manchester City, and Xavi has claimed there was never any chance of the Blaugrana having the financial capability to sign such players. 

    "Ask me another question," he told a news conference on Saturday. "Mbappe, let him do what he wants, let him be happy.  

    "We do not enter into this equation. I do not understand the question. 

    "We cannot put a lot of money in. The economic situation is what it is. We did not enter the bidding of Haaland or Mbappe but that is what we have inherited. 

    "There is no need to look back. You have to carry on. We have to compete and win titles again, we need to be competitive from now on. 

    "The president transmits confidence to me and that we will be able to invest in our squad. We have made a plan and we will try to execute it.  

    "The economic situation is serious but it is not my turn to talk about money. I'm here to talk about football. The economic problems are what they are, but let's talk about football." 

    One player who has been heavily linked is Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, who plundered 50 goals in all competitions in the 2021-22 campaign. 

    No player across Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals than the Poland striker this season, but he has told Bayern he wishes to leave and will not be signing a new contract, with his deal ending in June 2023. 

    However, LaLiga president Javier Tebas on Friday cast doubt on Barca's ability to be able to afford the 34-year-old. 

    Asked about Lewandowski, Xavi said: "It is one of the possibilities that may come. He has said it himself.  

    "There are some negotiations involved. It will not be easy with Bayern involved." 

    One possible outgoing at Barca who could free up funds would be Frenkie de Jong. Both Manchester clubs are credited with an interest in the Netherlands international who joined from Ajax in 2019, though it has been reported the 25-year-old is in no rush to leave the Camp Nou. 

    "Here we go back to talking about the economic situation," replied Xavi when pressed on the De Jong speculation.  

    "He is, for me, a great player who is very capable and very dominating, he can help us a lot, but we go back to talking about money and I don't want to do that." 

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