Soccer-PSG coach Enrique says Mbappe's replacement will be the team

Soccer Football - Coupe de France - Final - Olympique Lyonnais v Paris St Germain - Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France - May 25, 2024 Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after winning the Coupe de France REUTERS/Catherine Steenkeste

(Reuters) - Paris St Germain squad and their summer signings will have to step up as all-time scorer Kylian Mbappe bids farewell to the team, boss Luis Enrique said on Saturday after his side won the French Cup.

The Spaniard coached Mbappe in the last of his seven years with PSG, a spell in which the striker scored a record 256 goals and helped the team win 15 titles, including six league trophies.

Enrique said the off season will be key to preparing his squad to live up to expectations in the next term, as no player can replace the French captain heavily linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

"I have had the good fortune to coach Kylian this season, it has been a difficult one for him after seven years at his club and all that he has achieved, it is difficult to say goodbye," Enrique told a news conference.

"There is no substitute for Mbappe, we cannot replace him, we will do it through the team and four, five or six signings we can make.

"Kylian's replacement will be the team that, along with the fans and our ambition, will try to win everything in the following seasons."

PSG's biggest challenge remains the Champions League after extending the wait for their maiden European trophy despite huge investment in the squad following their semi-final loss to Borussia Dortmund earlier this month.

"A big challenge for any player who wants to come is that we want to make history and this club will win the Champions League sooner or later, it is difficult, but this team will do it," Enrique said.

"This season is coming to an end, but negotiations are already starting and there are possibilities to improve the squad, it is still an impressive project.

"A big club is very demanding, the players need to adapt. There is no such thing as a holiday in top-level football."

(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City)

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