French wonderkid Kylian Mbappe has admitted that he snubbed Real Madrid because he wanted to return to his home city Paris.
The striker was unveiled yesterday by Paris Saint-Germain after his loan move from Monaco ahead of an amazing £166m move next summer.
The 18-year-old’s wages are set to jump from £15,750 a week to a staggering £140,000.
And he said the lure of returning to the city where he grew up – rather than the riches of the club’s Qatari owners – was the key.
Mbappe, who will wear the No29 shirt, said: “Whether it is one euro or 180million euros it doesn’t matter to me.
“I didn’t pay it and I don’t pocket it.
“It’s a great pleasure to join one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“Back in May, I was in the frame of mind that I would stay with Monaco. Certain events changed my mind.
“It was important not to leave France. It was important to return to the city where I grew up.”
Having burst onto the scene last season with 26 goals in all competitions for Leonardo Jardim’s side, Mbappe wants to go on to bigger and better things in the French capital.
“I want to do even better than last season,” he said as he was presented to the media on Wednesday.
“I am driven by the desire to win everything.”
Fans in the street outside lit flares to welcome their new signing, who follows the £198m capture of Brazilian superstar Neymar.
PSG Qatari President Nasser Al-Khelaifi told reporters that Mbappe’s move has nothing to do with money.
He said: “We met with Mbappe’s family three times and not once did we talk about money.
“He’s not interested in money.”
Mbappe admitted he cannot wait to team up with Neymar in the French side’s new forward line but said it was only one of the appeals.
“He is an additional advantage,” Mbappe said.
“It is extraordinary to play with him. However I came for the project.”
Paris St Germain insists the club has carried out its record summer transfers in complete transparency and “has nothing to hide”, the French club’s president said yesterday.
Europe’s governing soccer body UEFA has placed PSG under investigation to see if their spending spree had broken financial fair-play rules.
“We’re very confident in our position, in our recruitment,” club Al-Khelaifi told reporters yesterday.