Kylian Mbappe’s role in PSG firing Leonardo and hiring Luis Campos emerges

Craig Burley says Kylian Mbappe's ego is out of control

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Paris Saint-Germain’s desire to keep Kylian Mbappe happy played a significant role in the recent changes behind the scenes at the club, according to reports. After months of speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid, Mbappe signed a new three-year contract with PSG last month – and that decision sent shockwaves through the club.

PSG’s Qatari owners were desperate to keep hold of Mbappe as he neared the end of his contract and pulled out all the stops in order to do so. The 23-year-old striker was given a £85million (€100m) signing bonus and a £42.9m (€50m) annual salary to snub Real Madrid and has also gained significant influence in wider decision-making at the club.

PSG’s failure once again to win the Champions League has had huge ramifications at the club, with sporting director Leonardo sacked and manager Mauricio Pochettino widely reported to be following him. Leonardo, who returned to the role in the summer of 2019 after working for PSG previously from 2011 under the Qatari ownership, was relieved of his duties last month.

Former Lille and Monaco chief Luis Campos has since replaced him and is poised to sack Pochettino a year before his contract is due to expire. Nice boss Christophe Galtier is favourite for the role, ahead of ex-Real manager Zinedine Zidane, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui, Marcelo Gallardo of River Plate and Sporting’s Ruben Amorim.

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ESPN claims that Campos may well owe his employment in the French capital to Mbappe, who did not get on well with Leonardo and advocated for his departure as part of his own negotiations to sign a contract extension. Mbappe worked with Campos at previous club Monaco and put forward his case to the PSG hierarchy.

Campos has a reputation for unearthing top talent and securing large transfer fees for home-grown players. The 57-year-old worked at Monaco from 2013 to 2016, where he furthered Mbappe’s rise and signed players like Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez, Fabinho, Anthony Martial, Ricardo Carvalho, Dimitar Berbatov, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Thomas Lemar.


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After helping Monaco win the Ligue 1 title and reach the Champions League semi-finals, Campos moved onto Lille in 2017. He was similarly successful in the north of France, selling Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel for big fees to Arsenal, while Lille beat PSG to the Ligue 1 title in the 2020/21 season.

PSG are yet to officially announce the departure of Pochettino, but reportedly informed him of the decision on Wednesday morning. The former Southampton and Tottenham manager is due a pay-out of between £12-17m (€15-20m) thanks to the year left on his contract.

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