Carlo Ancelotti believes Kylian Mbappe has been tipped to sign for Real Madrid and did not need to beat Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to prove an attractive prospect for Mbappe.
Karim Benzema’s hat-trick secured a stunning comeback for Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu this week.
Mbappe gave PSG a 1-0 lead and a 2-0 aggregate advantage, but PSG suffered a collapse in the final half-hour as Benzema’s treble sealed a 3-1 second-leg win and a 3-2 triumph in the tie.
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Speculation has since emerged that Mbappe has already agreed on a contract with Real Madrid to join on a free transfer from PSG at the end of the season.
With Real Madrid also tipping to battle for the signing of Erling Haaland in the next transfer window, Ancelotti was asked whether the result against PSG made his side more appealing to the world’s top players.
He replied: “It’s true that the game on Wednesday gave a really good picture of Real Madrid, but Real Madrid doesn’t need that. It already has that picture in the world.”
When asked whether he met with Mbappe, Ancelotti said: “No, I greeted [Marco] Verratti because he was my player when I coached PSG, and [sporting director] Leonardo, and the people I worked with back then in PSG.
“When you lose, you feel bad, physically and mentally. All the PSG players were disappointed. It’s happened to everyone.”
Ancelotti also denied that Real Madrid’s progress to the quarter-finals makes him feel that he has the backing of the fans and the club’s hierarchy, his side having gone through a run of just one win in five games in all competitions in late January and February.
“Going through shows that everyone together brought Real Madrid to the quarter-finals,” he said. “I don’t need backing. The excitement to coach this team is so great that if they criticise you, it doesn’t matter at all.
“It meant a lot [to go through], especially in terms of atmosphere. We saw the emotion the team gave to the fans, and what they gave to the team. It was very beautiful and very important.
“We know that, at the Bernabeu, the atmosphere is going to help us. And I’m very happy for the Madrid fans.
“In January, we went through a moment that wasn’t so good, but we keep going, and hopefully we can win something this season.”