Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward Kylian Mbappe on Monday clarified he “asked to leave” the French capital this summer with Real Madrid in pursuit, adding he did it early so the club can find a replacement in time for the 2021-22 season.

PSG rejected a bid upward of £137 million for the French star before a second bid, reportedly significantly higher than the first one, was also turned down in August.

The 22-year-old striker said he wanted a transfer to materialise in the summer so that he doesn’t have to move for free next summer. “I wanted the club to have a fee for a quality replacement,” The BBC quoted Mbappe as saying.

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“My position was clear, I said that I wanted to leave. I did not appreciate the fact that they said I came (with the news that he wanted to leave) in the last week of August. I said at the end of July that I wanted to go.”

“I said it early enough so that the club could react. I wanted everyone to come out of this stronger, that we leave hand in hand,” Mbappe said.

Mbappe has scored 136 goals in 182 appearances for PSG since his big-money move from Monaco in 2017.

The French international also said he has accepted PSG’s decision to not sell him. He now forms one of the best attacking units in the world, alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar, Angel di Maria and others at the Parc des Princes.

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“It is a club which brought me a lot. I have always been happy, the four years that I spent here, and I still am. I said, 'if you don't want me to go I will stay'."

Mbappe is in the last year of his contract with PSG. He will be free to enter a pre-contract arrangement with other clubs from January 1, 2022 and leave Paris for free next summer.