Paris St-Germain look to finally have ridden out their slump in form and restored their position as the dominant team in France.
Last season’s Champions League finalists had a slow start to the season after they were hit by a series of injuries and COVID-19 cases and were reeling after a series of shock losses — a run that cost coach Thomas Tuchel his boss.
However, replacement Mauricio Pochettino seems to have got them back on track and Friday night’s 4-0 thrashing of rivals Montpellier — with a double from star striker Kylian Mbappe — helped them move three points clear at the top of Ligue 1. Neymar and Mauro Icardi were also on target and they are now looking good for their seventh French league title in eight years.
However, one cloud still hangs over PSG as it looks like they have a fight on their hands to hold on to Mbappe.
The French youngster, who lit up the World Cup in Russia in 2018, admitted he is unsure if he will remain at the French club, with his existing deal set to expire at the end of next season.
“We are in discussions with the club to try to find a suitable project. I said I was thinking about it because I think that...if I sign it would have to be a long-term commitment to Paris Saint-Germain,” Mbappe told TV channel Telefoot after Friday’s win over Montpellier.
“I am very happy here. I have always been very happy. The supporters and the club have always helped me and for that alone I will always be grateful. But I want to think about what I want to do in the coming years, where I want to be. That’s what I am reflecting on.”
Mbappe, who turned 22 in December, joined PSG from Monaco in a blockbuster 180 million-euro transfer in 2017. He chose to join his hometown team rather than Real Madrid but the Spanish giants have continued to court him ever since.
Last month PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi said he was “very confident” Mbappe and Neymar - who is also out of contract in 2022 - would sign new terms.
“I will need to make a decision soon but I am thinking about it,” Mbappe added after scoring twice in the win over Montpellier. If I had the answer today I would say so. This is not about buying time. For example, I don’t want to sign a contract and then leave a year later. If I sign it would be to stay here.”