Thomas Tuchel appears to be giving Real Madrid a helping hand in their pursuit of Kylian Mbappé. Mbappé and his camp are displeased with the Paris Saint-Germain coach’s management of the France striker’s game time – as evidenced by his reaction to being substituted this week.
Tuchel’s use of Mbappé leaving player unhappy
The issue stems from late last season, when Mbappé featured for just 30 minutes in the league matches against Dijon and Nantes, despite expecting to be given a greater opportunity to score more goals in the race to scoop the ESM Golden Shoe, which was finally won by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. Tuchel was less concerned about the award than Mbappé, leaving the 20-year-old deeply unhappy.
In the opening period of this season, this conflict has moved from Ligue 1 to the Champions League. Mbappé was unable to play on matchday one because of injury, but felt fully fit to appear in PSG’s next two group games. However, Tuchel only gave the player 29 minutes at Galatasaray and 38 at Club Brugge.
At PSG, there is an awareness that Mbappé’s dream is to play for Real Madrid, who in turn are long-term admirers of the youngster, and it is not lost on his current club that such tension between player and coach will only make it tougher to persuade him to sign a new contract rather than seeking a move to the Bernabéu.
Particularly in view of Mbappé’s message to PSG in May, when he called on the club to afford him greater status, telling a Ligue 1 awards ceremony: “Maybe it’s time to take on more responsibilities. Maybe at PSG, of course… or maybe elsewhere with a new project.”