Karim Benzema cannot help himself in continuing to talk up a reunion with France team-mate Kylian Mbappe at Real Madrid next summer.
Having said earlier this month that it is ‘only a matter of time’ before Mbappe swaps Paris for Madrid, Benzema was again open to talking about one of the most eagerly-anticipated signings in European football.
Asked about linking up with Mbappe, who he paired so well with to guide France to the UEFA Nations League title, in Madrid, Benzema said: ‘I enjoy with him in the national team and in the future, why not?
‘He is a great player, but you have to respect PSG. I have always said it and I say it again, I hope we will play some day.’
Real Madrid have made no secret of their desperation to sign Mbappe and they look to have a clear path to the 22-year-old given he will become a free agent next summer.
Mbappe revealed in French media recently that he asked to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer so PSG could get a fee for him, rather than lose him for nothing.
Real Madrid were so keen to land him in the recent summer window that they made a bid of £154million, which was rebuffed out of hand by the Parisians.
Benzema told ‘L’Equipe earlier this month that Mbappe, who has not come close to a renewal in Paris, is itching to ‘see something else’ and test himself outside of his native France.
‘He said it himself. He wants to see something else,’ Benzema told the French newspaper.
‘Someday he will play for Real Madrid. I don’t know when. But it will come. It’s just a matter of time.’
Benzema added: ‘It’s still the best club in the world. Reconstruction or not, it is a new football, a new generation, new players.
‘We have to invest in young people so that one day they become great footballers.
PSG are believed to be refusing to give up hope that Mbappe’s mind can be changed, despite the fact he is free to begin negotiations on a pre-contract agreement with clubs abroad as early as January.
‘Kylian will make the decision that he has to make,’ PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino told Spanish TV show El Chiringuito.
‘The club will do everything possible to keep him. PSG can convince him to stay. He could change his mind.’
Pochettino, in conversation with COPE and Radio Marca, added: ‘Mbappe is fine, he’s a calm boy with a lot of personality and a very sociable character, he is clear about things and loves football, he’s very mature for 22 years old.
‘Kylian will make the decision he has to make and the club will do everything possible to keep him, because we’re taking about one of the best players in the world at 22.
‘I’m left with the fact that the situation is open and in the future anything can happen, the position of a few months ago may change in the future.
‘PSG as a club certainly have the ambition and ability to persuade him and offer him things so that he can stay and be happy, the possibilities that he could change his mind are there.’