Football

Fabio Capello: Real Madrid don’t need Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe is a doubt for Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City tonight according to coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Real Madrid don’t need Kylian Mbappe, according to Fabio Capello, who feels they should be more focused on adding more central defenders to their ranks.

Mbappe has emerged as a primary target for Real since entering the final year of his contract at Paris Saint-Germain, who have yet to reach an agreement with the forward over a possible extension.

The Blancos submitted three unsuccessful bids for the 22-year-old in the summer transfer window, and their club president Florentino Perez has revealed that they are planning to return for his signature in January, but Capello thinks they are neglecting to address a more pressing issue.

Real are sitting top of La Liga on goal difference after seven matches, but they have conceded 10 goals already, including two in a surprise defeat to Espanyol just before the international break.

Capello thinks head coach Carlo Ancelotti should reinforce his backline when the transfer window reopens instead of going out all out for Mbappe, with it his belief that the likes of Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio are already providing enough firepower in the final third.

The former Blancos boss referred to the team’s 6-1 drubbing of Mallorca last month, which saw Asensio score a hat-trick and Benzema grab a brace when asked to address their interest in Mbappe by Corriere dello Sport: “They’ll need time to build a strong team, Madrid need a couple of central defenders.

“I saw them against Mallorca… Mamma mia! [But] upfront they have no problems, even without Mbappe. They have interesting players.”

Mbappe has confirmed that he wanted to leave PSG and join Real, having told club officials at Parc des Princes in July that he had no desire to sign a new deal.

“I thought that my adventure was over. I wanted to discover something else,” he told L’Equipe earlier this week. “I’d been in the French league six or seven years.

“If I had left this summer it would have only been for Real.”

However, the World Cup winner is no longer ruling out the possibility of staying in Paris, as he added: “I’ve been in football long enough now to know that yesterday’s truth is not necessarily today’s, nor tomorrow’s.

“If I was told that [Lionel] Messi was going to play at PSG, I wouldn’t have believed it, so you never know what’s going to happen.”

Capello also added to the calls for Italy star Jorginho to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or, with the midfielder having played a key role in Chelsea’s run to Champions League glory last season before helping his country win their second European Championships crown.

“He undoubtedly deserves to win the Ballon d’Or, not just because he won everything but because he played a key role in those achievements,” the 75-year-old said of his compatriot.

“I don’t see players who were as decisive as him in 2021.”

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