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.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is reportedly finished at Everton – and he may have a chance to put himself in the shop window when his side play Arsenal in the last game of the Premier League season.

After 13 goals in Everton's 2019-20 Premier League campaign, and 16 in the 2020-21 season, the 25-year-old struggled with injuries this time around, missing three months with a fractured toe and scoring five goals in 16 league appearances.

Coming through Sheffield United's youth academy before moving to Everton in 2016, it appears unlikely Calvert-Lewin's next move will take him out of the country, with two Premier League clubs said to be leading the race.

 

TOP STORY – CALVERT-LEWIN SET FOR ARSENAL AUDITION

According to Football Insider, Calvert-Lewin expects Sunday's fixture to be his last appearance for the Toffees, and Arsenal are named as one of the two Premier League sides interested in making a move for the English striker.

Newcastle United are the other interested party, although Calvert-Lewin is said to have communicated to friends that his preferred landing spot would be Arsenal.

With the Arsenal futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah up in the air, the Gunners have reportedly set aside £45million to be used on a young striker in the upcoming transfer window.

 

ROUND-UP

– Marca reports that Real Madrid have interest in Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan if he leaves in the next transfer window, although Pep Guardiola wants to keep the German international at the club.

Newcastle are ruling out a move for Manchester United's Jesse Lingard, unless he lowers his wage requests from £150,000 per week, according to ESPN.

– Sport reports that Barcelona have made centre-back Samuel Umtiti available to Arsenal, with a loan move more likely.

– Eurosport claims Paul Pogba will choose between Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus for his next club.

– According to football.london, 20-year-old Nottingham Forest winger Brennan Johnson has plenty of Premier League admirers, with Tottenham named as an interested party.

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed Angel Di Maria will leave the club upon the expiration of his contract. 

Di Maria joined PSG from Manchester United in 2015 and has gone on to enjoy a stellar stint in the French capital. 

The former Real Madrid winger has won five Ligue 1 titles, enjoyed as many Coupe de France triumphs and collected four Coupe de la Ligue trophies. 

He has not been able to help PSG win the Champions League, though he did get a runners-up medal in 2019-20. 

Di Maria, who scored in a 4-0 rout of Montpellier last week, contributed to 40 goals in his first season at PSG, scoring 15 and providing 25 assists. 

In the 2021 Coupe de France final, his pass for a Kylian Mbappe goal saw Di Maria become the player with the most assists in PSG's history (104). 

He has assisted 71 goals in Ligue 1 since his debut in 2015, 27 more than any other PSG player in that time frame, and created 482 chances – way clear of second-ranked Neymar's tally of 267. His 55 goals place him fourth, behind Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Mbappe. 

Lionel Messi's arrival last year limited Di Maria's minutes, with the Argentine featuring 30 times across all competitions in the 2021-22 campaign and starting 21 of those games. 

On Friday, ahead of PSG's final game of the season against Metz, Di Maria posted a picture of the squad to his official Instagram account with the message: "Gracias. Merci." 

"Angel Di Maria has definitely marked the history of the club," said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. 

"He will be remembered by supporters as a player of impeccable spirit, who showed unwavering commitment to defending our colours.  

"I invite the whole Paris Saint-Germain family to meet [Saturday] at the Parc des Princes to pay him the tribute he deserves." 

Reports have suggested that Juventus have lined up a move for Di Maria, who turned 34 in February. 

Barcelona are not in a position to finance a deal for Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas.

Lewandowski last week confirmed that he has informed Bayern he will not be extending his contract beyond the end of next season.

The Poland international hinted he is interested in a move away from the Allianz Arena in the upcoming transfer window, rather than departing as a free agent in a year's time.

Barca are the favourites to land Europe's most prolific striker, with head coach Xavi insisting age would not be a barrier when it comes to his rebuild project.

However, uncertainty lingers over whether Barca have the financial clout to make a move as they attempt to come through an economic crisis that has hit Camp Nou hard.

And unless certain players, such as midfielder Frenkie de Jong, are sold to bring in additional funds, Tebas does not see the Lewandowski transfer being a possibility.

"The numbers are easy: if you have more than €500million losses from the past two years, you have to recover money," Tebas is quoted as saying by Spanish publication Sport.

"Lewandowski has one year left at Bayern. Between what he wants to earn and what Bayern want to take... as of today I don't see him at Barcelona. Other things must happen.

"Selling players could be enough, depending on how much they raise and what Lewandowski costs. It could be €100m plus that is saved.

"De Jong could give them that possibility, but I don't know if they are even planning to sell. To date they have not sold him."

 

Lewandowski has scored 50 goals in 46 games for Bayern in all competitions this season, making him the top scorer among players from Europe's top five leagues.

Next on that list is Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema with 44, followed by Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe with 36 in 45 matches.

Mbappe had been widely expected to join Benzema at Madrid next season, but reports on Friday suggested the forward might decide to stay at PSG.

However, Tebas expects the France international to end up at the Santiago Bernabeu in the coming weeks.

"I think he'll be at Real Madrid, though one day he is white and another day he is black – he changes," Tebas said. "But yes, I think [he'll sign for Madrid].

”I have seen these twists and turns so many times – it's not unexpected, because there are always twists. 

"The feeling I have is that if he had wanted to renew he would have already done so, but I could be wrong."

Kylian Mbappe's mother has confirmed the forward has reached contract agreements with both Paris Saint-German and Real Madrid, and all that remains is for the 23-year-old to make a final decision.

Mbappe, who is out of contract next month, is a long-standing target of Champions League finalists Madrid, although PSG have also made their desire to keep the 2018 World Cup winner public – with head coach Mauricio Pochettino declaring on Friday he wants the France international to stay "for many more years".

He has scored 25 league goals and added 17 assists to guide PSG to their 10th Ligue 1 title this term, with his total of 42 league goal contributions the highest of all players in the big five European leagues.

Mbappe was voted Ligue 1 player of the season for a third successive time last week, before declaring at the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels (UNFP) award ceremony in Paris that he would announce a decision on his future before France's Nations League fixtures in June.

The player's mother and agent Fayza Lamary has now confirmed reports that Mbappe has agreed similar terms with both PSG and Madrid. 

"There are no new sessions in order to negotiate the future of Mbappe after the expiration of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain. These sessions have ended," she told Kora Plus.

"We have an agreement with Real Madrid and another agreement with Paris Saint-Germain, and the negotiations have already ended, now Kylian has to choose.

"The two offers are equal from Real Madrid and Saint-Germain, there are no big differences between them, but we are waiting for Kylian to choose what he wants."

PSG will bring the curtain down on their Ligue 1 season when they host Metz on Saturday, with Mbappe having contributed to seven more league goals than their final-day opponents have scored this season (35).

Mauricio Pochettino has appealed to Kylian Mbappe to stay at Paris Saint-Germain and resist the temptation of Real Madrid, as a decision looms.

An announcement is thought to be imminent and the PSG head coach said it was important that it comes directly from Mbappe, whose contract expires at the end of June.

PSG, who hold a 15-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, face Metz on Saturday evening in their final game of the season.

Title celebrations are due to follow that game but could be overshadowed by news from Mbappe, who said he would confirm his intentions before the coming international break. Reports on Friday suggested clarity would come this weekend, and Pochettino hopes Mbappe decides to stay "for many more years".

It has been reported PSG have offered him a staggering financial package to remain with the French champions, but there remains little consensus on what Mbappe's decision will be.

"I don't know what it is. I don't walk to talk about it," Pochettino told a news conference on Friday. "I don't know what his decision is.

"It's a personal decision, for Kylian Mbappe linked with the club. There's a lot of information, a lot of rumours. We always respect the club and Kylian Mbappe's position. The club and the player have to speak about such topics.

"I do get information as the coach, but I'm not the right person to make a statement which isn't my responsibility. In this case, that lies with the player."

Pochettino said he had spoken to sporting director Leonardo "about many topics" and said he had "some information about what is happening" regarding player movement.

But he stressed that did not amount to being sure about what Mbappe's future would hold.

"As for what I want, I want Kylian Mbappe to be here for many years at Paris Saint-Germain," Pochettino said. "I don't know the information, I don't know what is going to happen. I am the coach of PSG and I would like him to stay here for many more years."

France striker Mbappe has been strongly linked with Madrid over the past year, with the Spanish giants making an attempt to sign him last August that was repelled by PSG.

The 23-year-old scored home and away against Madrid in the Champions League as PSG took a 2-0 aggregate lead in their last-16 tie, only for Karim Benzema's hat-trick in the final half-hour of the second leg on March 9 to guide Carlo Ancelotti's side to a comeback victory.

With 168 goals and 77 assists in 216 games for PSG, since arriving from Monaco five years ago, reigning Ligue 1 player of the season Mbappe would be sorely missed in Paris.

Pochettino's own future at PSG has been widely considered in doubt, despite delivering a landslide Ligue 1 title success.

Given the remarkable resources at his disposal, Pochettino had been expected by many to carry PSG deeper into the Champions League knockout rounds. He was linked with Manchester United recently, before Erik ten Hag was appointed boss of the Red Devils, and has also been touted in media reports as a possible candidate to coach Athletic Bilbao next season.

PSG's owners have not been shy in moving on coaches who have not met their high expectations in the past.

However, Pochettino declared he was keen to carry on working in Paris, saying on Friday: "I don't see any reason why I won't be here next season. I think the best is yet to come, hopefully.

"Everyone at Paris Saint-Germain wants to win the Champions League. That has become an obsession for the club. I hope we can achieve that."

Tick-tock, tick-tock. It appears time will finally run out on Sunday and the Kylian Mbappe transfer saga will finally be at its end.

Paris Saint-Germain have experienced another monumental blow this season with another cruel elimination in the Champions League and Real Madrid are waiting in the wings.

According to reports, the 23-year-old will finally announce his decision on Sunday.

TOP STORY – MBAPPE TO CONFIRM DECISION ON SUNDAY  

Kylian Mbappe will announce whether he will play for Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid on Sunday, according to L'Equipe.

The Parisian has never hidden his admiration for LeBron James and appears set to mimic his 'The Decision' announcement from 2010.

What is for certain according to reports, Mbappe is intent on announcing the decision before the France national team meets up for camp in Clairefontaine on May 28.

While it has been recently reported a move to Real Madrid seems likelier, talks are still ongoing according to the L'Equipe report, with PSG aiming to scupper a potential move at the last minute.

ROUND-UP

– Meanwhile, France team-mate and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba had agreed personal terms with Manchester City, according to the Times, but backed out in fear of fan backlash and now appears likely to move abroad.

– Along with Pogba, Juventus are also hoping to further bolster their midfield stocks and sign Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

– Diario AS is reporting Paulo Dybala has ruled out a move to Tottenham once his contract with Juve expires at the end of the season.

– Kalidou Koulibaly has emerged as a target for Barcelona, who would be willing to add Miralem Pjanic as part of a package deal for Napoli, per Fichajes.

Manchester City's dramatic Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid this season is apparently cause for another raid on the transfer market.

After already wrapping up Erling Haaland's transfer from Borussia Dortmund, the midfield is the next area of business.

With veterans in the midfield likely on their way out at the Etihad Stadium at this end of this season, replacements could soon be on the way.

TOP STORY – CITY EYE PHILLIPS AS FERNANDINHO REPLACEMENT 

Manchester City have emerged as contenders for the signature of Leeds United and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to the Mirror.

While Manchester United have also identified Phillips as a potential addition for their midfield, the 26-year-old has reportedly made it clear to his inner circle that he will not join Leeds' fierce rivals.

However, Phillips would appear likely to leave Leeds if they are relegated, with West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle United all also linked.

Fernandinho will depart City at the end of the season, while Ilkay Gundogan could follow, and the £50million-rated Phillips is a more attainable target than £100m international team-mate Declan Rice.

ROUND-UP

– According to Bild, Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to move on a deal for Liverpool's Sadio Mane amid reports he is stalling on a renewal of his contract, which expires in 2023.

– Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has added Ajax's Lisandro Martinez to the list of players he wants to bring to Old Trafford, the Telegraph is reporting.

United have also shown renewed interest in Lazio and Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, per Calciomercato.

– Chelsea want to sign Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season, Mundo Deportivo reports.

Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe wants a salary of €50million net and Barcelona had no interest in going that high, according to Joan Laporta. 

World Cup-winning attacker Mbappe has reportedly agreed personal terms to make a free-transfer switch to Madrid after his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires next month, though the Ligue 1 champions still hope to persuade him to stay.

The 23-year-old, who has scored 168 goals and supplied 77 assists in 216 games in all competitions for PSG, had also been linked with a switch to Barca.

However, the Catalan giants' president insists they would not have been willing or able to get anywhere near his demands.

"There are things that even if we had the money to do it, we wouldn't because it distorts our wage bill and that cannot happen again. It is something we are instilling in the club in all areas," Laporta told Catalunya Radio.

"We can't go past a certain level of spending. Mbappe is asking for 40-50 million [euros] net. He wants 50 [million euros] net. Mbappe is at the highest level but hasn't won the Champions League. That must also be taken into account.

"We will not talk about salaries of 25, 30 or 40 [million euros] net. It would be offensive to players who are expected to be a reference in world football and are just starting out at Barcelona. We are not going to do that, nor do we want to."

Barca have been tipped to sign another of European football's elite strikers in the form of Robert Lewandowski, though.

Lewandowski does not wish to extend his Bayern Munich contract, which has a year to run, and he could become available for a transfer before the start of the 2022-23 season.

Asked if the Poland international will sign for Barca, Laporta said: "Let's let the football management and technical secretariat work. I don't want to answer in detail.

"We are working to be more competitive, but it's not easy due to the economic situation. We are working to clean up the club's finances. Then we can do things.

"I hope to be able to say that in a year we have largely cleaned up the club's finances. If we manage to clean it up, all the operations we are contemplating will be able to be dealt with."

A departure for Frenkie de Jong could be one way Barca look to raise funds, but Laporta was unwilling to divulge much when asked about the Netherlands midfielder.

"There are Barcelona players who are coveted on the market and we will do what is best for Barcelona," he said.

"If we manage to clean up the club's finances, we will have fair play, cash … I don't know if there will be sales."

Jurgen Klopp is interested in signing Kylian Mbappe, but accepts Liverpool are not able to compete with Real Madrid for the Paris Saint-Germain forward's signature.

Mbappe is due to be out of contract with PSG next month and revealed last week he is close to making a decision over his future.

Madrid are the strong favourites to sign the France international, while a number of other clubs – Liverpool among them – have also been linked in the past.

According to reports from Spain this week, Liverpool made a late attempt to persuade Mbappe to make the switch to Anfield, rather than the Santiago Bernabeu.

But while Klopp is a fan of Mbappe, he insists Liverpool have no intention of attempting to sign the 23-year-old in the next window.

"Of course we're interested in Kylian. We're not blind," he said ahead of Tuesday's crucial Premier League clash with Southampton.

"I have nothing to say about [the reported contact] between Kylian and Liverpool... it's all fine.

"We like him and if you don’t like him then you have to question yourself. But we cannot be part of these battles; there must be other clubs. He's still a great player."

 

Mbappe has scored 36 goals and provided 21 assists for PSG this season, firing the Parisians to the 10th Ligue 1 title in the club's history.

His total of 57 goal contributions this season can only be bettered by international team-mate Karim Benzema (59) among players in the top-five European leagues this season.

He has been involved in 245 goals in all competitions since his PSG debut in September 2017, which is at least 98 more than any other player for the club over that period.

Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic cited Manchester United's Paul Pogba as an inspiration as speculation grows over a transfer to Old Trafford.

Milinkovic-Savic has played an integral role at Lazio since joining from Genk in July 2015, appearing over 200 times in Serie A.

The Serbia international has again delivered for Maurizio Sarri's side this season, providing 10 goals and 11 assists in the league, while no Serie A midfielder can match his 21 goal contributions.

Meanwhile, no Lazio player has started more Serie A games than the 27-year-old this term, while he also ranks top for tackles (67) and duels won (247).

A creative presence as well as a dominant midfielder, only Luis Alberto (64) has created more chances than Milinkovic-Savic (47), but reports in Italy suggest Lazio are ready to sell their star midfielder.

Paris Saint-Germain and United are among the favourites to sign him, with Lazio's preference not to sell to fellow domestic side Juventus, and Milinkovic-Savic has referenced two Premier League players as his idols.

Pogba, who appears set to depart United at the end of the season, came under special praise from Milinkovic-Savic, while Thiago Alcantara's creativity for Liverpool was also cited.

"Comparisons between me and Pogba? I learned a lot from him at the beginning when I arrived in Italy and he was at Juventus," he told DAZN.

"He is tall like me, has the technique and always makes a difference."

On Thiago, he added: "Against shorter players, I struggle more because I have to lower myself too. Who do I get my cue from? I always look at Thiago from Liverpool.

"I developed some body movements thanks to Futsal, a sport I practised as a child."

Milinkovic-Savic acknowledged he was pleased to continue developing after producing arguably his best season and spoke long term about harbouring Ballon d'Or ambitions.

"My best year? For a few years, the statistics say, I play a little better," he added. "If I feel undervalued? I don't think about this, when I finish the game if I have time I see it again and then I decide if I did well or not, I'm honest with myself.

"In the movements without the ball I have grown a lot over the years. Little by little I have worked and this year you can see the results.

"Five years from now? I don't think so much about the future, I look day by day and I don't think too much about things. Ballon d'Or? Of course, I'd like to win it!"

Kylian Mbappe has revealed he will announce a decision regarding his future before linking up with the France national team for June's Nations League fixtures.

With his contract with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain due to expire next month, Mbappe has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Conflicting reports have suggested PSG are confident of tying the 23-year-old to a new deal in the French capital, while the hierarchy at the Bernabeu are sure of luring him to Spain.

Mbappe, a 2018 World Cup winner, has scored 36 goals and provided 21 assists for PSG this season, firing the Parisiens to the 10th Ligue 1 title in the club's history.

His total of 57 goal contributions this season can only be bettered by international team-mate Karim Benzema (59) among players in the top-five European leagues this season.

Speaking at the annual Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionels (UNFP) award ceremony in Paris, where he was named the best player in the French top flight for a third time in four years (there was no winner for the curtailed 2019-20 campaign), Mbappe revealed he will soon make an announcement on where he intends to play next term.

While Mbappe was less forthright on his future than was the case at the 2019 ceremony, where he made headlines by discussing the potential of a "new project", he later said all will become clear by the time he meets up with his national team at the end of the month. 

"I made this mistake three years ago to monopolise the ceremony. I want to participate in the ceremony, not seek glory," Mbappe said, as reported by RMC.

"We will know very quickly, it's almost over. My choice is made, yes, almost."

Speaking to journalists in the mixed zone after picking up the award, Mbappe said: "I will officially announce my decision on the future before I join the France national team in June."

Mbappe later expressed his delight at retaining the Ligue 1 prize in a social media post, writing on Twitter: "Best player in Ligue 1 for the third consecutive season. An immense pride to write history once again. This recognition warms my heart. And of course, thank you to all of my club and the fans for the trust granted this season."

Having scored and provided two assists in PSG's 4-0 victory over Montpellier on Saturday, Mbappe has been involved in 245 goals in all competitions since making his PSG debut in September 2017 (168 goals, 77 assists).

That total is at least 98 more than any other player has managed for the club in the same period (Neymar is second with 147 goal contributions).

France are due to play four Nations League matches in June, facing a double-header against 2018 World Cup final opponents Croatia, as well as a home clash with Denmark and a trip to Austria.

Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi put poor Montpellier to the sword in a 4-0 Paris Saint-Germain win, their first since being confirmed as Ligue 1 champions.

Champions League failure this season had dampened PSG's title celebrations even before three consecutive draws – the first of which secured top spot against Lens.

Mauricio Pochettino's men lost the lead in all three matches, but there was never any danger of a repeat on Saturday.

Mbappe, whose future is perhaps of more interest than PSG's results right now, was typically influential, scoring the fourth after having a hand in two goals for Messi and one for Angel Di Maria.

That front three quickly had Montpellier on the back foot, with just six minutes played when Mbappe's square pass was dummied by Di Maria for Messi to aim a left-footed finish into the bottom-right corner.

Dimitry Bertaud had saved well from Messi moments before that goal and soon would again from Mbappe, but he was helpless in the face of an onslaught.

Mbappe's sublime outside-of-the-boot pass set Messi away to round the goalkeeper and score the second, before the pair attempted to link up a third time and Di Maria netted instead – his volley deflected beyond Bertaud after Mbappe's cross was headed only half-clear.

Mbappe hit the post from a Messi pass before the half-time whistle, which scarcely disrupted PSG's rhythm.

A rare loose Mbappe touch only invited a clumsy challenge from Arnaud Souquet, allowing the forward to coolly convert from the penalty spot.

Mbappe was just offside before he laid on another goal for Di Maria, which was ruled out, and PSG finally slowed to Montpellier's relief, settling for four.
 

What does it mean? Rare late-season success for champions

PSG's form had fallen off a cliff since the Ligue 1 title was sealed, but that is nothing new for this team.

In fact, the capital club headed into this match having won just two of their past 11 games played when they had been confirmed as champions. Their most recent such victory had come against Dijon at the end of a successful 2018-19 season.

There are worse times to lose form, of course, but this long-awaited win should now at least briefly lift the mood at PSG – and perhaps show Mbappe how fun it could be to stick around alongside Messi.

Partnership finally prospers

Although Neymar was missing through suspension, the other two members of PSG's star-studded front three finally showed off the sort of attacking combination play that was expected all along.

Mbappe has certainly not disappointed this season, having now posted a career-high 57 goal involvements, but this was a rare example of Messi matching his team-mate's exploits.

Three of the four chances Messi created were for Mbappe, who in turn teed up four attempts and two goals for the former Barcelona man.

Now the nervous wait...

It was put to Pochettino on Friday that Mbappe might provide an update on his future on Sunday, at the UNFP Trophies ceremony where in 2019 he announced a desire to "have more responsibility", prompting discussion he was unhappy at PSG.

There is no doubt Mbappe is the main man in Paris now, stealing the show even in a game in which Messi scored twice, but will that be enough to keep him at the club?

What's next?

Beyond that awards ceremony, where Pochettino insists he is not expecting any news, PSG have one game remaining at home to Metz next Saturday. Montpellier visit Angers.

Mauricio Pochettino is not concerned Paris Saint-Germain might get left behind in the upcoming transfer window.

Manchester City have made the first huge move in securing an agreement for Erling Haaland, while Borussia Dortmund have replaced their outgoing superstar with Karim Adeyemi – one of three impressive new signings.

Meanwhile, PSG still do not appear to know if Kylian Mbappe will leave the club this year, and uncertainty surrounds Pochettino's position, too.

But the PSG coach is confident the Ligue 1 champions are sticking to their usual process, which last year delivered a widely lauded window in which Lionel Messi arrived, among others.

"Every club works in its own way," Pochettino said in a news conference ahead of Saturday's game against Montpellier that was dominated by transfer talk.

"Paris Saint-Germain has its strategy and must follow it.

"I don't think anyone is ahead or behind; you just have to know where you're going. We must not compare PSG with other clubs.

"The end of the season is coming and the club is already working for next season."

Indeed, Pochettino insists PSG are in a good place, adding: "The work is done during the season. We discover players, we see the profiles, we see the possibilities of incomings that can improve the team.

"There is then a period when departures and arrivals happen, but it's a job that is done in parallel with the league. Most of the work is done during the season."

That could potentially be altered by an unexpected announcement from long-time Real Madrid target Mbappe, who has previously discussed his career options at the UNFP Trophies ceremony.

This year's gala is on Sunday, but Pochettino does not foresee news on the forward's future.

"It's a question for Kylian, but I hope not, because we will be in Qatar," he said with a smile. "And in any case, if there is a communication, we hope that it will be positive for the club.

"But I don't think so – and that's a question for him."

Gerard Pique was left in tears following Lionel Messi's Barcelona exit, but the centre-back says he can understand why his former colleague joined Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi's 21-year association with Barcelona, 16 of those spent as part of the senior squad, came to an end last August when he signed for PSG as a free agent.

The Argentina international won every trophy available with Barca and departed as the club's all-time record scorer with 672 goals across 778 appearances.

Last year's departure came as a huge shock at the time, with the Catalan giants' financial situation meaning they could not agree fresh term under LaLiga's salary restrictions.

Pique and Messi came through Barca's La Masia academy together and spent 13 seasons as first-team regulars after the defender returned from a spell at Manchester United.

In an interview with former United team-mate Gary Neville, Pique opened up on just how tough he found it seeing his close friend move to another club.

"I cried when Messi left. I cried for him," Pique said on The Overlap podcast. "For the career he had at Barca, it would have been great if he had stayed until the end of his career.

"I can understand why he couldn't renew. The club was suffering a lot economically because of the past president and how he managed the club.

"At the end of the day, these are things that happen in life. Sometimes you make a decision and things don't work out.

"For Barcelona and the fans, Messi was like a god. It would have been great if he stayed."

 

Messi was directly involved in 937 goals for Barcelona, with his most prolific season coming in 2011-12 when scoring 73 goals in all competitions and assisting a further 28.

But while the record seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was very much the poster boy for Barca's trophy-laden period, Pique insists Messi could not have done it alone.

"Lionel Messi is the best player in the history of the game," he said.

"Messi was Barcelona's best player. I've always said that we had Messi to win titles, but we also had to have a good team. A single player cannot win titles."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.