x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 November 2017

Kylian Mbappe excited by 'extraordinary' chance to play with Neymar at PSG

The Frenchman set to make his debut for his new club in Ligue 1 at Metz on Friday. 

Kylian Mbappe made his first public appearance as a PSG player on Thursday. Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
Kylian Mbappe made his first public appearance as a PSG player on Thursday. Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

The chance to challenge to win the Uefa Champions League was the driving force behind Kylian Mbappe's decision to move from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain as the teenager said he was not concerned with having a large price tag placed on his shoulders.

The 18-year-old has joined the Ligue 1 side from the current champions on a season-long loan that will be made permanent next summer for a fee of €180 million (Dh788.7m).

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But speaking at a news conference in Paris on Wednesday as he made his first public appearance since the deal was announced on the final day of the summer transfer window last month he said: "It is not me who handled the transfer.

"My price is anecdotal - it will not weigh me down."

As to what had motivated him to leave the reigning champions, who like PSG have won their first four games of the season, he added: "For me it was the project that was going to allow me to develop, to learn while winning.

"And win right away. We only have one career and it goes quickly."

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Mbappe arrives just weeks after PSG broke the world record for a transfer fee by signing Neymar from Barcelona for a fee of €222m.

Mbappe acknowledged that the chance to form a partnership with the Brazilian striker was an incentive, but had not been a deciding factor in the decision to make the move.

"He is an additional advantage," he said. "It is extraordinary to play with him. However, I came for the project."

Mbappe, who is set to make his debut for PSG on Friday night at Metz as Ligue 1 action returns after the international break, added that he had initially not expected to depart Monaco, with who he helped win the title and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.

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"Back in May, I was in the frame of mind that I would stay with Monaco," he said. "Certain events changed my mind.

"It was important not to leave the France. It was important to return to the city where I grew up."

Conversations with Unai Emery were also important in persuading Mbappe, who had also been linked with Real Madrid and Arsenal over the summer.

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"I had the opportunity to talk with the coach, how he wanted to use me,' he said.

"The coach has been very clear with me about how he wants to use me. He is a passionate coach and transmits that to us players."

PSG's deals for Neymar, who they signed from Barcelona after meeting the price in his buyout clause, and Mbappe has triggered an investigation into a possible breach of Financial Fair Play rules by Uefa, football's European governing body.

But club president Nasser Al Khelaifi, sat beside Mbappe, said PSG had nothing to hide over the transactions and were confident.

"We're very confident in our position, in our recruitment," Al Khelaifi said. "We paid everything in a transparent way. We have nothing to hide."