'Real Madrid must be punished!' - Mbappe pursuit continues to infuriate PSG sporting director Leonardo
Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo affirmed that he is furious at Real Madrid's continued pursuit of Kylian Mbappe, which he believes should be punished.
The French giants turned down a mammoth €220 million (£189m/$260m) bid for Mbappe over the summer, with the 22-year-old's contract up in 2022.
And Leonardo believes that Madrid have made illegal contact with the striker in order to convince him to move for free at the end of the season.
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What's been said?
"At Madrid they are denying it, but I think that Real Madrid have been trying to sign Mbappe [as a free agent] for a while," the Brazilian told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"They have been talking publicly about Mbappe for two years. That should be punished.
"I see it as disrespectful towards Mbappe. He is not just another player, he is one of the best players in the world.
"The coach, the board, Real Madrid's players have spoken about Kylian... I think it is part of their plan. It is not respectful."
It's not the first time Leonardo has discussed Madrid's pursuit of Mbappe, with the Brazilian telling L'Equipe on October 6: "It's been two years that it lasts, I remind you that the transfer window is over.
"There are matches and Real Madrid cannot continue to behave in this way. May it stop! Mbappe is a PSG player and the club fully understands that this relationship will last.
"These new comments are just the continuation of a lack of respect towards PSG and towards Kylian Mbappe."
Which Madrid players have spoken about Mbappe?
Toni Kroos is one of the Madrid players to have discussed Mbappe, telling Goal in September: "In the summer I already said that I would like a player like him to come, but if he doesn't we have a good team.
"Let's see what happens in the future, it is difficult for me to say because I am not the one who decides. His quality has not changed, he is a good player and what we know is that Madrid wanted to sign him but in the end they didn't succeed.
The striker's compatriot Karim Benzema shares that sentiment, and told RTL: "He is a player who will play for Real Madrid one day or another. We get along really well and I would like him to be with me today in Madrid."
Meanwhile, Madrid president Florentino Perez suggested that there could well be movement regarding a transfer for Mbappe, telling El Debate recently: "We hope that on January 1 everything can be solved."
PSG, though, have not given up hope of keeping him at Parc des Princes, and the player's mother made a surprise admission this week that talks over a new deal are underway.
"We are currently in talks with PSG and things are going well," Fayza Lamari told Le Parisien.
"I was even with Leonardo last night (Monday). After that, will we come to an agreement? One thing is certain: he will give his all until the end to win the Champions League.
"Kylian needs to be fulfilled. If he's unhappy, he's able to tell you: I'm quitting my career. And he often tells us that by the way. With Kylian, everything can change overnight."