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Mbappe presence at Olympics ‘very difficult’, says France coach Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps has cast doubt on Kylian Mbappe’s chances of representing his country at this year’s Paris Olympics, saying that it would be “very difficult” to compete at the Games straight after Euro 2024.

“It is very difficult from a psychological and physical viewpoint to take part in two competitions like that one after the other, in the summer, without having any holiday,” Deschamps admitted on Thursday.

The France coach confirmed that some members of his squad for the European Championship are likely to also feature in the Olympics squad, which will be named by Thierry Henry.

However, Deschamps said the Euro “remains the priority” and that the identities of those players featuring at the Olympics would need to be known before the continental championship, which starts on June 14.

“We don’t want any interference with our preparations, so once we are in our training camp at Clairefontaine, it needs to be clear who is going and who is not going,” Deschamps said.

It is understood that Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe, the France captain, is very keen to represent his country at the Olympics, along with Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

Yet the European Championship in Germany does not finish until July 14, with the Olympic football tournament beginning on July 24.

That means there would be no time for a break in between, at least if France go deep into the Euro.

Men’s football at the Summer Games is for players aged under 23, although three overage players can feature too, paving the way for the 25-year-old Mbappe and other senior French stars to take part.

However, football’s world governing body FIFA does not oblige clubs to release players for the Olympics, which could complicate Mbappe’s situation even more.

The forward has already told PSG he plans to leave when his contract expires at the end of this season and Real Madrid is expected to be his next destination.

His new club is unlikely to be thrilled at the prospect of Mbappe going to the Games rather than taking a holiday ahead of the start of the new season — the final of the Olympic tournament is set for August 9.

France legend Henry is currently in charge of the national Under-21 side and will oversee the team at the Olympics.

He accepts that whether Mbappe features in the squad does not ultimately come down to him.

“I have no certainties. I am at the mercy of a yes or a no from a club,” Henry said on Thursday.

“And then if they agree and then change coach in the meantime, who is to say I would still have him?”

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