Former Paris Saint-Germain and France striker Nicolas Anelka has urged Kylian Mbappe to leave the Ligue 1 side if he wishes to emulate the success Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have achieved in their respective careers.
Liverpool and Real Madrid have been credited with an interest in the Frenchman, who is out of contract next season and has, until now, not yet put pen to paper on a new deal. Mbappe has won nine major honours during his time with PSG, but Anelka insists he must leave his homeland to win the most prestigious trophies.
The 42-year-old wrote for The Athletic: "You have at least two choices — stay in Paris or move to Real Madrid. Both of them can win the Champions League these days. When I was at PSG, that wasn't the case. That choice depends on what you want to achieve in football. If you want the biggest accolades, you will have to move from PSG at some point.
"Whatever you do in Paris will be good, but somebody will always say, 'Well, you did great for PSG but it was only in France. The best leagues are in England and Spain, so you didn't compete with the best players in the best league.' You will have to decide. If you want to win the Ballon d'Or, which is what you should be looking at to echo Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, you will have to compete with the best.
'You can't say you compete with the best all the time when you are at PSG. The French league is not easy, don't get me wrong, but I think the toughest league is in England. So, if you want to be one of the best, then do what you do in Paris but with Chelsea or United or Arsenal or Manchester City or Liverpool. Or go to Spain to Madrid or Barcelona. Or maybe Italy. Then we can speak about a more global impact."
Mbappe endured an underwhelming Euro 2020 campaign and came under heavy criticism for his feuds with his France teammates, most notably Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann. Former France international Eric Di Meco called for the 21-year-old to be benched next season if he refuses to sign a new deal and urged the Ligue 1 giants not to bow down to "player pressure".
He told RMC Sport: "The problem in this story is that by letting him go into the last year of his contract, he is the one who holds the cards. What you can do when you are PSG and you are powerful is say: 'You don't want to continue [with us]? Well, you can stay on the bench all year.' Paris has the means to do it. And by doing that, you show the guys who arrive that they cannot run the show."