Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier said rumours about Kylian Mbappe’s future did not disrupt his team’s preparations for Tuesday’s Champions League match against Benfica.
Stuttering PSG were 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 rumour 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 rumours.
“We remained focused on the match and I don’t think the rumour 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 centre-forward in the close season.
The 23-year-old 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 rumour should emerge just four or five hours before this game, I am entitled to be surprised,” he said.
“Who does this rumour help? Who is it useful to? Not us.”
PSG’s sporting director Luis Campos also claimed that the French World Cup winner has never spoken about a desire to leave the club.
“I am with Kylian Mbappe every day, he has never talked to me about leaving in January,” Campos told French TV station Canal Plus before the match against Benfica.
“It’s not a statement from the player, it’s (from the press), and to have such information before a match like this is very serious. That’s why I’m here, to deny and say clearly that Kylian Mbappe has never spoken to me or to the president (Nasser Al-Khelaifi) to leave PSG in January.”
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.