Soccer-PSG's Luis Enrique dodges Mbappe questions ahead Champions League clash


Soccer Football - Champions League - Paris St Germain Press Conference - Reale Arena, San Sebastian, Spain - March 4, 2024 Paris St Germain coach Luis Enrique before the press conference REUTERS/Juan Medina

SAN SEBASTIAN (Reuters) - PSG manager Luis Enrique dodged a number questions about Kylian Mbappe's future at the Ligue 1 club, insisting he was more focused on the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash at LaLiga side Real Sociedad on Tuesday.

France captain Mbappe, the club's all-time leading goal scorer, has yet to play a full match since he informed PSG that he would leave them as a free agent at the end of this season.

Since coming off the bench to score the winner against Nantes on Feb. 17, the 25-year-old was substituted in two consecutive Ligue 1 games in which PSG were held to draws.

Bombarded with questions about Mbappe, Luis Enrique appeared agitated at times and kept joking with the UEFA translator that he was not really understanding the questions.

"It's very easy to manage (the flood of Mbappe questions), I just take whatever questions the journalists want and answer whatever I want, that's my formula," Luis Enrique told a press conference at San Sebastian on Monday.

"The match is so important that there are no comments to be made (about Mbappe)."

Luis Enrique was determined to block out any distractions as PSG, who take a 2-0 lead into the second leg against Real Sociedad, target a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"Champions League second legs are all difficult, the result we have is good, but it's misleading if you don't come out with the right attitude. If you come out clueless, you'll drown in misery, that's what I'm trying to avoid," Luis Enrique said, aware of the raucous atmosphere that PSG will face at a sold-out Reale Arena.

Real Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil, whose side have been struggling for form in recent weeks having won only one of their last nine competitive matches, was confident that his side can fight back to knock out the French giants.

"We want to eliminate PSG, at least I believe that. Hopefully after the game we'll all be happy celebrating the pass, it would be a bombshell," Alguacil told a press conference.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas in Madrid, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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