French sports minister urges PSG's Mbappe to stay in France

Kylian Mbappe has constantly been linked with a move away from French champion PSG next season.

Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe in action with Barcelona's Gerard Pique during their Champions League clash in Camp Nou on Tuesday   -  REUTERS

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has appealed to Paris Saint Germain (PSG) star Kylian Mbappe to keep playing in France after Mbappe's Champions League hat-trick against Barcelona this week reignited speculation that he could move abroad.

"Kylian, stay in France, we want to be able to see you continue to play like that," Maracineanu told France Info radio on Friday.

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Mbappe, who won the 2018 World Cup with the French national team while still a teenager, scored a stunning hat-trick as the Qatari-owned Paris Saint-German thrashed Barcelona 4-1 away in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old became the first player to net a hat-trick away in Camp Nou in Europe's elite competition since Dynamo Kyiv's Andriy Shevchenko in November 1997, the year before Mbappe was born.

His performance sparked more speculation that he might eventually leave France's Ligue 1 for Spain's La Liga or England's Premier League, which are typically considered bigger and more prestigious championships.

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