The news that Kylian Mbappe had signed a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain was as surprising to his team-mates as it was to the rest of the watching world, says Ander Herrera.
A World Cup-winning France international at Parc des Princes has committed to lucrative fresh terms that will bring an end to the endless rounds of rumours regarding his future.
Mbappe had been heavily linked with a summer switch to Real Madrid as a free agent, with GOAL revealing that personal terms were agreed with La Liga giants at one stage, but he stunned everybody when announcing a prolonged stay in his homeland.
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Did PSG’s players know that Mbappe would sign a new contract?
According to Herrera, those in the PSG camp had no idea that an illustrious colleague was preparing to make a big announcement on his future, with the Spanish midfielder telling Marca after a season-ending Ligue 1 clash with Metz in which Mbappe hit a hat-trick: “After the [pre-match] meal we started to see all the news coming out of Spain, your friends message you… We thought he was going to say it later on, he had said something about the Nations League.
“Then at the stadium we saw what was out there in the middle of the pitch and when he wasn’t in the dressing room and it was all set up on the pitch we were surprised, I think the club put it together very well. Enjoy Kylian for the next years!”
Herrera added: “After eating I spoke with some friends on a group chat, I don’t know if he had said something to Achraf [Hakimi] or someone else close, but I found out at that moment and I think everyone else did too.
“We gave him a round of applause and then it hit, the fact that he could become the most important player in the history of the club. We know we are an attractive club with a good project.”
How long is Mbappe’s new contract at PSG?
Mbappe has committed to a new three-year deal with the newly-crowned Ligue 1 champions, meaning that he should remain in his current surroundings until at least 2025.
More records will tumble around him in that time, while the expectation is that a talented 23-year-old will come into Ballon d’Or contention at some stage in the near future.
Mbappe has already hit 171 goals for PSG through just 217 appearances and now sits only 29 adrift of Edinson Cavani’s all-time record for the club.
Given that he has broken through the 30-goal barrier in each of the last four seasons, the history books should be rewritten in 2022-23.
Mbappe will also be looking to help France defend their global crown midway through the upcoming campaign, with the 2022 World Cup due to get underway in Qatar on November 21.