Mbappé still targeting Olympics amid Madrid talks


Amid discussions over a move to Real Madrid, France forward Kylian Mbappé said Friday that he remains hopeful of taking part in the Paris Olympics this summer and that no one has yet told him he won’t be able to compete.

Mbappé is expected to join Madrid when his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expires this summer, with ESPN reporting last month the LaLiga giants are hopeful of finalising an agreement with the player soon.

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ESPN has learned that Real Madrid sent an email to the French Football Federation earlier this month explaining that they will not release any of their players for the Olympic Games.

“I have always had the same ambition. I have always said that I wanted to go [to the Olympics] but it doesn’t depend on me,” Mbappe said in a news conference ahead of France’s friendly with Germany on Saturday.

“I can’t say anything because no one has told me anything. If I can’t do the Olympics so be it … When I say no one has told me anything, I am talking about PSG. I am under contract with PSG and they haven’t said anything [about the Olympics]. We haven’t discussed it,” he added.

The France captain refused to discuss his club future but said he expected a resolution before the summer.

“I haven’t announced anything yet because I have nothing to announce … I am sorry I have nothing to tell you,” he said, before adding later: “I think it will all be sorted out before the Euros.”

The Parisian never mentioned Real Madrid during the news conference, but negotiations between the Mbappé camp and the LaLiga leaders are ongoing, a source told ESPN. The player’s image rights are still a major point of discussion, a source added, as Mbappé wants more than the 50-50 deal that Real Madrid always give their players.

The Olympic football tournament, which will take place from July 24 to Aug. 9, is an under-23 competition with three overage players allowed on each roster. However the competition is not a part of the FIFA calendar, which means clubs do not have to release players to compete for their countries.

That contrasts with the European Championship, which also takes place this summer — from June 14 to July 14 — in which clubs are obligated to release their players.

Earlier this week, France were drawn in the same group as the United States for the men’s Olympic tournament.

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