Stay in France, minister urges Mbappe

·1-min read

Kylian Mbappe has been urged by his country's sports minister Roxana Maracineanu to keep playing in France as speculation mounts about him making a big money move abroad.

Mbappe's Champions League hat-trick against Barcelona this week has reignited speculation about the brilliant young striker's future at Paris St Germain.

But it lead to a heartfelt plea from Maracineanu, who said on France Info radio on Friday: "Kylian, stay in France. We want to be able to see you continue to play like that."

Mbappe, who won the 2018 World Cup with the French national team while still a teenager, became, at 22, the first player to net a treble away at Barcelona in Europe's elite competition since Dynamo Kyiv's Andriy Shevchenko in November 1997.

His performance sparked more speculation that he might soon leave France's Ligue 1 for Spain's La Liga or England's Premier League.

Zinedine Zidane, Mbappe's admiring compatriot and manager of Real Madrid, was also effusive in his praise of the youngster on Friday.

"His performance (against Barcelona) was marvellous," said Zidane. "I watched the game as a fan and I enjoyed how wonderfully he played."

Mbappe's contract with PSG expires this summer. Last month, he said that he was "thinking it over" on whether to sign another deal with the French champions or make a move.