Karim Benzema has insisted he is 'not disappointed' by Kylian Mbappe's decision to reject the chance to join him at Real Madrid.
The talismanic striker was speaking after winning the Champions League for the fifth time with Los Blancos, courtesy of Vinicius Jr's second-half strike against Liverpool in Paris on Saturday night.
Benzema's compatriot Mbappe had been widely expected to join Real on a free transfer in the summer, but the 23-year-old caused shockwaves last weekend as he completed a dramatic U-turn by penning a new three-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
The collateral damage of that decision was the egg on Benzema's face, with the striker regularly and publicly talking up a move to the Bernabeu for his international teammate in recent months.
However, the current Real Madrid frontman insisted he did not begrudge Mbappe's choice and that it will not affect their friendship, despite his cryptic social media posts in the aftermath of the announcement.
"I would have liked him to have been able to fulfil his dream of playing for Real Madrid, being together," he told Telefoot.
"He chose PSG, we must respect him. It's his choice, he has a lot of responsibilities. We will enjoy playing together in the national team. Everyone makes their own choices."
Listen now to 90min's brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. This week they discuss West Ham's Declan Rice contract plans, Gabriel Jesus' Manchester City future and how Aston Villa still want Yves Bissouma despite adding Boubacar Kamara to their ranks. There's also chat on Kylian Mbappe's decision to stay at PSG, Aurelien Tchouameni & Mohamed Salah.
"Real Madrid are Real Madrid, I'm not disappointed. We are good friends, it won't affect our relationship."
Real Madrid will now be forced to pursue other forward targets this summer, having missed out on both Mbappe and Erling Haaland, who will join Manchester City.