Zlatan Ibrahimovic told Kylian Mbappe to leave Paris Saint-Germain – and then advised the club's president not to let him go.
The veteran Swedish hitman spent four seasons at the French giants between 2012 and 2016 but believes Mbappe would be better suited to a different environment, where he would have "more structure."
That change of scenery could happen very soon, with the 22-year-old wonderkid out of contract next summer and free to speak to clubs in January.
Real Madrid are guaranteed to be one interested party, having seen a world record bid – reported to be in excess of €220million – ignored by PSG last summer.
The Ligue 1 club don't want to lose their prized asset for nothing, but the longer Mbappe's contract situation goes unresolved, the likelier it is he'll be playing his football elsewhere next season.
Ibrahimovic believes that might be no bad thing – not for Mbappe at least.
Now back in Italy with AC Milan, the 40-year-old forward scored 156 goals in 180 appearances for PSG, where he won 12 trophies – before joining Manchester United in 2016.
He has urged the former Monaco man to quit Parc des Prices, and believes that Real Madrid would be an ideal destination for him.
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Ibrahimovic told Italian media outlet Corriere della Sera: "It is true that I told Kylian Mbappe he should leave PSG."
"It is true. Mbappé needs a more structured environment, like that of Real Madrid."
Perhaps unsurprisingly given his outspoken nature, Ibrahimovic's involvement with Mbappe's future doesn't end there.
The Milan striker also revealed that he advised PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi not to sell the wantaway striker – presumably during the summer transfer window.
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He added: "But then I told the PSG president not to sell him."
Ibrahimovic's revelation is hot on the heels of Mbappe appearing to send a cryptic message to Real over his future at Monday's Ballon d'Or awards.
Mbappe told reporters: "Of course my goal is to win a Ballon d'Or title or several of them, but there is a process to achieve it."
PSG sporting director Leonardo said in September that he was confident Mbappe would sign a new deal to remain at Parc des Princes.
"We were clear about the offer they [Real Madrid] made. It was not enough from our point of view. It was less than what we paid. As for their last offer, it never arrived.
"I don’t see Kylian leaving at the end of this season. Mbappe’s relationship with PSG is deep. I don’t think anyone here sees the future without him."
With less than one month to go until the transfer window reopens and Mbappe is able to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club, that belief will soon be given the ultimate test.
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