Paris St Germain coach Luis Enrique insists they will have a better team next season even after the expected departure of star forward Kylian Mbappe.

It is understood the 25-year-old France international, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has told the club he wants to join Real Madrid this summer, a move which has been touted for a number of years.

“It doesn’t cross my mind that the team will be weaker next season. I’m absolutely sure,” Enrique told a press conference ahead of Friday’s match against Mbappe’s former club Monaco.

“If everything goes well, I think and I’m convinced that we’ll have a better team next season.

“Me, I always want to try to improve the team and I think there is always a way to improve.”

PSG, who have an 11-point advantage at the top over Brest, have lost just once in Ligue 1 this season – back in September and are on course for a 10th title in the last 12 years.

“I am very happy with all the efforts we made, with the results we obtained,” added Enrique.

“We are following a very good trajectory. Now we are entering a difficult period, the key period, the best of the season.

“It’s all or nothing, and it’s a feeling we love. We have to continue to be true to our idea, to what got us here, to try to dominate the matches from the start.

“We don’t need to improve the general idea, but we need to improve the details.”

While Monaco are currently third they are 13 points behind and have lost six times this season, including four at home.

“Monaco are one of the best teams in the league and a direct competitor of ours in the title race,” said the PSG boss.

“We know that we’ve got a tough game ahead of us tomorrow, so we’ll put out a highly competitive side.”

A late Goncalo Ramos penalty rescued a point for Paris St Germain as they drew 1-1 with Rennes in Ligue 1.

Although PSG retained the majority of possession in the first-half, Rennes took their chance and Amine Gouiri fired them in front with a stunning effort into the top-corner.

The hosts wasted a series of chances in the second-half and looked destined for a second league defeat this season before Ramos scored from the spot deep into stoppage-time.

A draw means PSG now hold an 11 point advantage over second-placed Brest, who beat Strasbourg on Saturday, while Rennes move into seventh.

A quiet start to proceedings saw the hosts take control but fail to really test Rennes.

Vitinha had the first decent chance of the match in the 20th minute, when his low strike forced Steve Mandanda into a great fingertip save to push the ball behind for a corner.

Christopher Wooh then did well to stick a boot out to deny Ousmane Dembele’s through ball to Kylian Mbappe as the hosts struggled to find the breakthrough.

Despite PSG’s dominance in the first half, it was Rennes who took the lead in the 33rd minute after taking advantage of their first chance of the game.

Gouiri broke through the centre of the pitch and launched into a brilliant run, weaving around the Parisian defence before flicking the ball forward to clip it with the outside of his boot into the top-right corner.

The Algeria striker had another opportunity to double their lead minutes later after taking the ball past Danilo Pereira but fired wide.

Achraf Hakimi fired a free-kick well over the bar early in the second half as PSG searched for the equaliser and the Morocco international came close from another set-piece which curled just wide of the far post.

Their frustrations continued when Dembele burst down the right and found an unmarked Mbappe lurking on the edge of the area in plenty of space, but the captain dispatched a low effort wide.

Mandanda then made a great save, getting a strong hand to claw away Dembele’s strike from the right before Mbappe threatened again with a powerful effort that whistled just over the bar.

Rennes missed an incredible opportunity to extend their lead in the 69th minute when a low cross from the left was fed into Benjamin Bourigeaud at the near post, but the midfielder bundled his shot wide.

PSG had another great chance from a corner when Fabian flicked a header on to Pereira, who headed over the bar.

The hosts had a penalty ruling overturned by VAR in the final 10 minutes when Ramos dived in the box.

Bourigeaud then had a dangerous free-kick punched away by Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 90th minute before Fabian volleyed the ball past the post.

Late drama saw Ramos go down in the box again and, following a consultation with VAR, a penalty was awarded, which the striker blasted into the top corner in the sixth minute of stoppage-time to salvage a point.

Paris St Germain coach Luis Enrique has warned his side’s commanding advantage at the top of Ligue 1 could begin to work against them in the second half of the season.

PSG began the weekend 13 points clear of second-placed Brest before the latter’s trip to Strasbourg on Saturday evening, well on course to secure a third consecutive league title.

But Enrique is wary of the size of the lead his side hold going into their match at home to Rennes on Sunday, admitting a little more pressure from their domestic opponents might keep them sharper as they look to go deep in this season’s Champions League.

“We’re very happy with the distance between us and second place,” Enrique said. “It’s something we have to fight against for a lot of weeks. It’s perhaps a handicap that we need to control. Our aim is to win matches and win all the competitions we take part in.

“Obviously, if we had an opponent closer to us in the league table, we might be a little more prepared and the players would prepare themselves more spontaneously. In any case, you have to be a little more motivated. We can do it very well.

“We’re the most consistent team in the league. But now we’ve got the last third of the season coming up and we need to perform well in all competitions. There are a lot of good tests coming up. It’s going to be very difficult on Sunday and this match will help us prepare for the matches that follow.”

PSG have won their last five matches in all competitions and are on an 18-match unbeaten run that dates back to the 2-1 defeat to AC Milan in November.

“It’s always positive to have a good run of results,” Enrique added. “But the coach always has to make sure it doesn’t get complicated. It’s good to have good momentum, but you mustn’t let up.

“That’s what I fight for every week, in training and when preparing for matches. Good results also mean that you have to stay focused, both in matches and in training.”

Rennes, seventh in Ligue 1, are enjoying some superb form themselves. Julien Stephan’s side have won 10 of their last 11 games, with the exception being a Europa League defeat, also against Milan.

Rennes lost the first leg of their tie against the Italians 3-0, meaning that Thursday’s 3-2 victory was not enough to keep them in the competition.

Speaking after that match, Stephan said: “Disappointment or satisfaction? Pride wins out…It’s a great source of pride to have won against Milan. Even if it’s difficult to compare eras, it’s probably the most prestigious victory in the European history of Rennes, so we have to appreciate that.”

What the papers say

The Sun reports that Gareth Southgate has his eye on three uncapped midfield players – Manchester United teen Kobbie Mainoo, Everton’s James Garner and Fulham’s Harrison Reed – as concern grows over the form of Kalvin Phillips.

Coach David Moyes’ future with West Ham looks fraught as the club is understood to be sounding out Julen Lopetegui, Steve Cooper and Graham Potter to lead the Hammers, writes the Daily Mail.

Steve Bruce is keen to move abroad, with the ex-Newcastle boss looking to become the next manager for South Korea, writes the Daily Mirror.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Kylian Mbappe: The  Paris Saint-Germain star put pen to paper with Real Madrid weeks ago, reports the Daily Mail.

Liel Abada: According to the Daily Record, Celtic will speak to the winger’s agent this week to sort out his future.

Yann M’Vila: West Bromwich Albion has signed the former France international, but only until the end of the season, says the BBC.

Kylian Mbappe stepped off the bench to convert a penalty as Paris St Germain won 2-0 at Nantes to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 14 points.

Mbappe, who told PSG on Friday of his intention to leave in the summer when his contract expires, struck his 21st league goal of the season from the spot after Lucas Hernandez had given his side a second-half lead.

Amid mounting speculation that Mbappe will join Real Madrid in time for next season, the 25-year-old, along with Ousmane Dembele and Achraf Hakimi, were left out of Luis Enrique’s starting line-up.

Mbappe, who started and scored in PSG’s 2-0 win against Real Sociedad in Wednesday night’s Champions League last-16 tie, was in dispute with his club over his contract last summer.

The France forward refused to sign a one-year extension clause and was subsequently exiled from the first-team squad, and left out of their pre-season tour to Asia.

But he was all smiles with boss Enrique as he waited to enter the action at the Stade de la Beaujoire just after Hernandez had broken the deadlock, and was handed the captain’s armband after going on.

At the end of a first half of few clear-cut chances, Nantes twice went close and had a goal ruled out for offside.

Hernandez’s last-ditch tackle thwarted Douglas Augusto and was deemed legitimate by VAR before Marquinhos blocked Nicolas Cozza’s shot after Gianluigi Donnarumma had saved Mostafa Mohamed’s effort.

Nantes thought they had broken the deadlock when defender Nicolas Pallois turned home a corner, but his effort was ruled out by the referee assistant’s flag.

Pallois’ dipping 30-yard volley was comfortably saved by Donnarumma early in the second half and PSG took the lead on the hour-mark through Hernandez’s deflected shot.

Mbappe, Dembele and Hakimi were all sent on by Enrique straight after Hernandez’s opener and the visitors put the result beyond Nantes with 12 minutes remaining.

Augusto tripped Mbappe in the penalty area and the France forward picked himself up to slam home the spot kick for his 26th goal in 28 appearances for his club in all competitions this season.

Nantes went close to a late consolation goal when Donnarumma pushed substitute Moses Simon’s effort on to a post as PSG extended their unbeaten league run to 17 matches.

Kylian Mbappe has been left out of Paris St Germain’s starting line-up for Saturday night’s Ligue 1 fixture at Nantes.

Mbappe told the French club on Friday of his intention to leave them at the end of the season when his contract expires.

There has been mounting speculation that the 25-year-old will join Real Madrid in the summer.

Mbappe, who started and scored in PSG’s 2-0 win against Real Sociedad in Wednesday night’s Champions League last-16 tie, was in dispute with his club over his contract last summer.

The France forward refused to sign a one-year extension clause and was subsequently exiled from the first-team squad, and left out of their pre-season tour to Asia.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insisted he has no intention of letting speculation over Kylian Mbappe’s arrival at the club take his focus away from the job at hand.

Real are seen as the most likely destination for the French striker, who has informed Paris St Germain he intends to leave in the summer, but Ancelotti was careful not to fan the flames of those rumours.

With his side leading the way in LaLiga and well fancied to secure the title, the Italian coach is more interested in what happens in their away game at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday than what happens in the transfer market at the end of the campaign.

Pressed on the club’s interest in the 2018 World Cup winner, he said: “I see and hear what has happened. I understand that it’s the subject of the day for you, but for us it’s tomorrow’s game.

“Vallecas is always a tough place to play at. It has been in the past and it’ll be a tough game against a team that needs points.

“Do I seem affected or worried (about Mbappe) today? No. It will be the same at the next press conference.

“We have to finish this season well. We’ve discussed the game, we’ve watched a video and we’ve tried to prepare for the game as well as possible.

“It’s a vital game for our season. I’d like to finish this season well and try to win trophies. There’s plenty of time to think about next season.”

While Ancelotti was not keen to discuss the possible arrival of one global star, he was willing to reflect on the reduced role of another: Luka Modric.

The 38-year-old has had to settle for a more peripheral role than he is accustomed to this season and, although he looks certain to leave at the end of his contract, he has continued to make a positive impression behind the scenes.

“A player who is used to playing every game finds it tougher than others to sit on the bench,” admitted the head coach.

“But I understand and respect him. His behaviour is that of a very serious professional who continues to train and fight to be able to play.

“He’s available to play in any game, even tomorrow’s. He continues to contribute in the dressing room just as he did before when he played all the games.

“He’s a highly-respected player and an example of how a professional should be. He continues to be a figurehead for the squad.”

Former assistant Inigo Perez faces a baptism of fire as Vallecano’s new coach, attempting to lift a side who have lost five and drawn one of their last six and sit 14th in the standings.

“Four days are enough to work on an idea and it is not a new project because I already knew them,” he said.

“When it comes to picking up a team in the middle of the season, I’m lucky because I know everything.

“It’s relatively easy. But a team like Madrid demands the maximum from you in all aspects.”

France forward Kylian Mbappe has told Paris St Germain he will leave the club at the end of the season.

The PA news agency understands the terms of his departure are yet to be fully agreed, and it is expected official confirmation once those details have been agreed will come in the months ahead.

However, the World Cup winner has communicated his intention to leave to the French club’s executives.

Mbappe’s current contract with PSG expires in the summer and since January 1 he has been able to hold pre-contract talks with other clubs.

The 25-year-old has been widely linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Ciro Immobile’s second-half penalty earned Lazio a shock 1-0 first-leg win over 10-man Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16.

Striker Immobile sent Manuel Neuer the wrong way from 12 yards in the 69th minute after Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano was sent off for a late challenge on Gustav Isaksen.

The Bundesliga side, who arrived in Rome on the back of a damaging 3-0 defeat to title rivals Bayer Leverkusen, dominated first-half possession but were unable to capitalise, with Harry Kane largely starved of service.

Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala each went close for the six-time European champions before Immobile’s spot-kick settled the contest to increase pressure on Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel.

Kylian Mbappe set Paris St Germain on course for a 2-0 success over Real Sociedad in Wednesday’s other tie.

The France star opened the scoring in the 58th minute at Parc des Princes by volleying home Marquinhos’ flick on following Ousmane Dembele’s right-wing corner.

Bradley Barcola secured breathing space for the Ligue 1 leaders ahead of the return match on March 5 with his first Champions League goal.

The 21-year-old forward burst past Hamari Traore on the PSG left before poking the ball beyond Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro with 20 minutes remaining.

Kylian Mbappe opened the scoring as Paris St Germain recorded a 2-0 last-16 first leg victory over Real Sociedad in the Champions League.

The Ligue 1 champions took control of the tie with two second-half goals at Parc Des Princes.

Mbappe struck in the 58th minute before Bradley Barcola’s 70th-minute strike gave the Parisians an aggregate advantage ahead of the return leg in March.

Sociedad almost took the lead in the first half. Brais Mendez whipped in a free-kick which tested the PSG defence before Andre Silva failed to score from close range.

After Alex Remiro denied Mbappe, the LaLiga club went close again with a double effort from Takefusa Kubo.

The Japan international cut in from the right-hand side of the box and curved an effort towards the back post, but the winger put too much power on the strike and it sailed wide of the target.

After the break Sociedad looked likely to land the first blow but Mendez was denied by the crossbar. The creative Mendez fired a powerful strike from range but his effort cannoned off the upright to keep the scores level.

The visitors’ lack of clinical edge proved costly when Mbappe scored from close-range to give his side the lead just before the hour mark.

Ousmane Dembele’s curved corner saw Marquinhos flick the ball on into the path of the dangerous Mbappe, evading his marker to score.

And in the 69th minute Mbappe looked likely to add another. The striker cut inside on to his favoured right foot and narrowly missed the right post, much to the relief of Remiro who was well-beaten.

But just one minute later PSG double their lead and took full control of the contest.

Fabian Ruiz showed off his skills with a deft through ball before the deadly Barcola drove into the box and finished cutely to confirm the win.

Paris St Germain boss Luis Enrique has described Wednesday night’s Champions League opponents Real Sociedad as one of the tournament’s best sides.

The Parisians will resume their quest for an elusive Champions League title in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Parc des Princes and Enrique refused to say his side were favourites.

Enrique told a press conference: “Real Sociedad have a tight defence in the Champions League. They don’t give the ball away easily. We will have to press them aggressively.

“They are certainly one of the best teams in the competition. That is why they qualified as group winners.

“They were in a group with last year’s finalists. They are top level and I’m not going to get into whether we are favourites or not.

“My team has to show that on the pitch. That is where we do the talking.”

Sociedad were unbeaten as they finished top of Group D ahead of Inter Milan, beaten 1-0 by Manchester City in last season’s final in Istanbul.

The Spanish side won three and drew three of their six group matches – they beat Benfica home and away – and Enrique saluted head coach Imanol Alguacil and his club.

“I hope it is not a decisive factor that he has been there six years and I have been here six months,” Enrique added. “I know the coach very well. He is a great coach.

“He is at home with a fantastic philosophy. They bring through many players themselves. They are well balanced. They do well in the transfer market.

“They have been playing really good football during his six years there, and even before that, as there were other coaches who did a great job there.

“So he is reaping the fruits of the hard work by the club. I can only congratulate them. I hope they don’t play as well tomorrow and in the second leg.”

Kylian Mbappe (ankle) is expected to start after being rested last Saturday when PSG moved 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after their 3-1 home win against Lille.

Enrique, whose side are unbeaten in 16 matches in all competitions, has no new injury concerns but is still without Presnel Kimpembe (Achilles), Nuno Mendes (hamstring) and Milan Skriniar (ankle).

What the papers say

Tottenham are confident they will keep manager Ange Postecoglou amid interest from Liverpool, the Telegraph reports. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp announced he will step down from the club at the end of the season, with ex-midfielder and current Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso favourite for the position.

The Daily Mail says West Ham have delayed contract negotiations with manager David Moyes as he deals with a seven-game winless streak.

Manchester United are reportedly interested in Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt, the Sun reports, with the 24-year-old said to be unhappy at the German club.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Bernardo Silva: Manchester City’s 29-year-old midfielder is a target for Paris St Germain with the French club reportedly ready to pay his £51million release clause, Spanish outlet Fijaches says.

Kylian Mbappe: The Athletic reports the French striker, who is available on a free transfer this summer, is not happy with Real Madrid’s latest offer.

Kylian Mbappe was kept in reserve as Paris St Germain went 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with 3-1 victory over Lille.

Defender Alexsandro had a night to forget at the Parc des Princes when, after Yusuf Yazici had given the visitors an early lead, he was robbed to allow Goncalo Ramos to level and then sliced the ball into his own net before Randal Kolo Muani cemented the win.

Mbappe was named only among the substitutes ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League last 16 clash with Real Sociedad, as were Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos and Warren Zaire-Emery.

And Mbappe was not needed as Luis Enrique’s side eased to victory, with fourth-placed Lille indebted to goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier for keeping the margin of defeat respectable.

Mbappe’s presence on the bench as he nursed ankle injury did not come as a huge surprise despite Enrique’s insistence in the run-up to the game that he would be involved, but 37-year-old Keylor Navas’ inclusion in place of Donnarumma, his first appearance for the club since May 2022, did prompt raised eyebrows.

Navas’ evening got off to a bad start as Tiago Santos tricked his way past Lucas Beraldo and after Fabian Ruiz failed to deal with his cross, Yazici smashed the ball past the PSG keeper in the sixth minute.

The lead last barely four minutes as Alexsandro was caught in possession and Ousmane Dembele squared for Ramos to equalise.

Alexsandro’s evening was to take a further turn for the worse with just 17 minutes played as the home side started to find their feet.

Ramos sent the ball across the face of goal and when the visitors failed to deal with it, Fabian unleashed a speculative shot and the defender sliced an attempted clearance into his own net.

Lille might have fallen further behind in first-half stoppage time but for Chevalier’s instinctive save with his foot after Marco Asensio had run on to Dembele’s pull-back.

Asensio was guilty of a poor 51st-minute miss after robbing Nabil Bentaleb on the edge of the penalty area, and Chevalier came to Alexsandro’s rescue with a block from Nordi Mukiele after he had forced his way past the defender.

Edon Zhegrova saw a 58th-minute attempt deflected wide at the other end after Gabriel Gudmundsson and Angel Gomes had combined to set him up, but it took another superb save from Chevalier to keep out Kolo Muani’s 73rd-minute strike.

The striker did get his name on the scoresheet with 10 minutes remaining when substitute Bradley Barcola broke down the left and crossed for him to cement victory.

And Alexsandro’s misery was complete when he headed wastefully over when presented with a late chance to reduce the deficit.

Paris St Germain boss Luis Enrique has played down any injury concerns for Kylian Mbappe after the France forward did not take part in full training ahead of Saturday’s Ligue 1 match against Lille.

Mbappe, who continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid in the summer, picked up a minor issue during the Coupe de France win over Brest on Wednesday night.

Despite having not joined in with the rest of the squad for Friday’s final training session and instead worked in the gym, Enrique insists there are no concerns over his availability.

“Kylian will be fit tomorrow and available to play,” Enrique said.

“He didn’t train today because we didn’t want to take any risks, so he trained inside, but he will be available for the game.”

PSG continue their Champions League campaign next week with the first leg of their last 16 tie against Real Sociedad.

Enrique, though, insisted everyone was focused on the job in hand against Lille, who sit fourth in the table.

“We are at a point in the season where we play every three days. We have to plan the options with the staff to always be competitive,” Enrique said.

“We must not underestimate any match – all games are important. As a squad, we try to have two players per position of equivalent level.

“We don’t want to forget certain matches, consider one more important than another even if the one against Real Sociedad is highly anticipated.

“We want to be competitive and be able to win every match.”

Enrique told a press conference: “Lille has a very good team and a coach that I really like.

“It will be difficult when we have the ball because they will come and press us and difficult when we don’t have it because they have good use of it.

“It’s a great test for us, to prove that we want to be competitive in all matches.”

Forward Randal Kolo Muani missed the midweek cup tie because of a viral infection, while left-back Nuno Mendes is stepping up his recovery from surgery on his hamstring.

Lee Kang-in has been given some time on leave following Asia Cup duty with South Korea.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has suggested the club are ready to quit the Parc des Princes and look for a new home ground elsewhere after city officials confirmed the stadium was not for sale.

“I believe the president was very clear in his message,” Enrique said.

“I know for sure that he is working to find the best solution for the club. This is essential for us to be stronger.”

What the papers say

England forward Chloe Kelly is wanted by Paris St-Germain. The Daily Mail reports the 26-year-old would become the highest-paid women’s player in Europe if she makes the move from Manchester City.

Christian Eriksen, 31, could make a return to Brentford in the summer, according to the Metro. Galatasaray have also been linked with a move for Manchester United’s Denmark midfielder.

Brighton are leading the race for Ghanaian winger Ibrahim Osman. The Evening Standard says the Seagulls close to beating West Ham to the 19-year-old’s signature from Nordsjaelland in a £17million deal, while the Daily Mail says the move has already been agreed.

Jon Dahl Tomasson is close to being the next managerial casualty. The Daily Mail reports he is set to leave Blackburn Rovers after eight games without a win in the Championship.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Antonee Robinson: Liverpool are looking at a summer mover for the Fulham and the United States left-back, according to Football Insider,

Ivan Toney: Manchester United are ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign the England striker from Brentford, according to Teamtalk.

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