Luis Enrique said Friday he hoped “an agreement can be found” with Kylian Mbappe as Paris Saint-Germain look set to open their Ligue 1 campaign without the French superstar.
The former Barcelona and Spain boss is preparing for his first season in charge at PSG after replacing Christophe Galtier in July.
“This situation has already existed (between PSG and Mbappe),”
“A positive solution had been found with the club before my arrival. I hope that the club and the player will find an agreement.
“I remind you of the philosophy of the club, which wants to be above everything, players, staff.”The Spaniard told a pre-match press conference in Paris ahead of his team’s Ligue 1 opener against Lorient on Saturday.
PSG are bolstering their attacking options with the futures of Mbappe and Neymar still uncertain, with both missing training on Friday.
Luis Enrique confirmed that France international Ousmane Dembele’s arrival from Barcelona is “99 percent” done.
“Dembele is not yet a PSG player legally, 100 percent no, but 99 percent. There is still one paragraph left in the contract,”The Spaniard said.
The 26-year-old Dembele, who was part of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning squad along with Mbappe, is not available to face Lorient at the Parc des Princes.
On Tuesday, Barca coach Xavi confirmed the departure of the forward, who would be the French champions’ ninth summer signing, after defenders Milan Skriniar and Lucas Hernandez, midfielders Manuel Ugarte and Cher Ndour, forwards Marco Asensio, Lee Kang-in and Goncalo Ramos and goalkeeper Arnau Tenas.
Mbappe’s contract dispute has dominated headlines all summer.
He has refused to sign an extension to his PSG deal, meaning he can leave for free next year, with Real Madrid long seen as his preferred destination.
PSG want to sell him now and bring in a significant transfer fee for a player who cost 180 million euros ($198m) from Monaco in 2017.
According to a source close to the negotiations, a contract renewal proposal was made to the Frenchman with a “guaranteed sale” clause at the end of the season but it was rejected.
The club are also reported to be open to a sale of the former Barcelona player Neymar, currently sidelined with a virus, and Italian midfielder Marco Verratti.
But Luis Enrique remained equally tight-lipped about those two players.
“I will not talk about my discussions with Neymar and Verratti,”
“It is in the private domain. I invite you to be attentive to my actions. It is my decisions that will express my opinion.”He explained.
Without Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi, who left for Inter Miami, it is three newcomers — Lee, Ramos and Asensio — who look set to lead the PSG attack in front of a home crowd accustomed to a trio of superstars.