Paris Saint-Germain’s new forward Kylian Mbappe holds his jersey during his presentation at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on September 6, 2017. The 18-year-old striker moved to PSG in a season-long loan deal with a 180 million euro buy-out clause attached, making him the second most expensive player of all time behind new teammate Neymar. / AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON
Kylian Mbappe revealed a change of heart prompted him to join Paris Saint-Germain from French champions Monaco in a deal poised to become the second most expensive transfer in history.
The 18-year-old France striker said at the end of last season he had decided to stay with Monaco, but confessed on Wednesday that “certain events happened which made me change my mind”.
Mbappe completed a move to PSG last Thursday on an initial season-long loan as part on agreement that includes an option to buy the teenager for 180 million euros ($215 million).
“I discussed it in depth with my family and I took the decision to join PSG,” said Mbappe, who comes from the Paris suburbs.
He insisted he had not fallen out with the Monaco ownership and praised the club’s vice president Vadim Vasilyev, but told reporters: “There were some things that happened that I will talk about, you’ll hear soon.”
Mbappe, speaking as he was officially unveiled at the Parc des Princes, said it had been vital for him to stay in France despite strong interest from Real Madrid.
“It’s a great pleasure to join this club, it’s one of the best in the world,” said Mbappe. “It’s extremely ambitious and wants to become the best.
“It’s putting everything in place to make that goal more than possible and that’s important to me.
“It was also important to not leave France after just six months playing at the top level, and it was important to return to the city where I was born and where I grew up.”
Mbappe’s arrival in the capital follows the world-record signing of Neymar from Barcelona, and the Frenchman is eager to continue his development alongside a highly accomplished cast of players.
“I come into the dressing room with the smallest prize list. These are players who for the most part have won everything already, it’s going to be a rewarding experience. I have a lot to learn and a lot to prove.”
After splashing out 222 million euros for Neymar, PSG concluded a complicated deal for Mbappe which prompted UEFA to announce a day later that it was looking into whether the club had broken financial fair play rules.
But for Mbappe, whose transfer fee could rise to 180 million euros with add-ons, the eye-catching figures are far from his concern.
“For me, the price is what it is, it’s not going to change my way of playing and it’s not something that’s going to worry me,” he said.
“On the contrary, I think playing with these players is going to free me.”