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Mbappe's reduced playing time with PSG may benefit France, Deschamps says

Mbappe's reduced playing time with PSG may benefit France, Deschamps says

Sports

The France captain has played the full 90 minutes in just three matches since Feb. 14

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(Reuters) - Kylian Mbappe's reduced playing time with Paris St Germain in recent weeks could be good news for the France national team as it may keep him fresh for the European Championship and Olympic Games, manager Didier Deschamps said.

The France captain, who informed PSG last month that he would leave them as a free agent at the end of the season, has played the full 90 minutes in just three matches since Feb. 14, a 2-1 Champions League win at Real Sociedad, a 3-1 French Cup win over Nice and a 6-2 league win over Montpellier on Sunday.

Asked about Mbappe's game time, Deschamps told reporters on Monday: "It's important to be physically fresh for a major competition. In any case, all the players will arrive at the end of the season feeling a little tired.

"If that fatigue can be reduced a little (all the better)," the French coach added ahead of a friendly against Germany on March 23.

Mbappe, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, has said he hopes to participate at this summer's Paris Olympics but a move to the LaLiga leaders may prevent him from doing that.

France under-23 coach Thierry Henry said on Monday that Real had turned down a request to release players for the Games.

"Real Madrid's stance on the Olympic Games is a bit outdated," Deschamps said. "But businesspeople are the ones who decide. If it's not on an official FIFA date, if they say no, the answer is no."