Luis Enrique has said Kylian Mbappé is in good spirits to return to his Paris Saint-Germain team ahead of Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash with Toulouse.
The striker was absent from the squad during a goalless draw against Lorient on the first weekend after a tumultuous summer, when disputes over his future saw him train separately from the first team.
The 23-year-old has only a year to work on his current contract and has declared his reluctance to sign new terms, but he has been brought back into the fold and will play in line games on Saturday.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 18, 2023
The manager said he is happy to have a player with World Cup winning abilities as he hopes to win the title in his first season.
“I’m very happy to have a world class player like Kylian,” said Enrique. “He’s in great shape, he has a lot of desires, he’s in a very good mood.”
It will be PSG’s first Ligue 1 game since world record-setting Neymar moved to Saudi Arabia to sign for Al-Hilal.
Enrique managed the Brazilian while playing together at Barcelona, winning the Champions League in 2015, but the 31-year-old has recently made it clear he wants to leave the club he joined for £190m in 2017.
He made 173 appearances for PSG since joining Barcelona in 2017, helping the club win 13 trophies, including five Ligue 1 titles, as well as reaching the Champions League final in 2020.
The manager said that despite Mbappe’s return, attacking reinforcements would still be needed after Neymar’s departure.
“He is a world class player and I wish him all the best for the future,” Enrique said.
“We still need to step up[offensively]because that’s where we had the fewest recruits. We still have to work on how they complement each other.”
The former Barça manager, who replaced Christophe Galtier as Ligue 1 champions manager in July, said he has yet to choose a new team captain and yet he can let his team choose who they want to captain this season.
“There are four captains (on a team) – that’s what the players decide, not the coach. I want him (whom the players choose) to be their captain, not mine.”
The club were buoyed by the news on Friday that goalkeeper Sergio Rico has been released from hospital three months after he sustained a head injury in a horse accident.