Everything seemed so promising at Paris Saint-Germain at the start of the season.
Kylian Mbappé decided to stay at the club despite interest from Real Madrid and the French international, Lionel Messi and Neymar had started to get along on the pitch.
Fast forward to fall, however, and things don’t look quite so rosy.
The French giants were held to a 1-1 draw against Benfica in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday amid rumors that Mbappé is seeking an early exit away from the club.
Speculation didn’t seem to hinder the 22-year-old’s form as he netted a penalty for his side and proved a constant danger from the left.
Despite dominating possession, PSG were caught in the second half with another penalty, this time perfectly executed by Benfica’s Joao Mario.
PSG pushed for a winner who would have secured a place in the knockout stages of the tournament but could not find the breakthrough – Mbappé thought he had won it late but his acrobatic volley was clearly offside.
UEFA’s Technical Observer Panel named Mbappé Player of the Match, saying “he was the only dangerous player in Paris thanks to his speed and movement”.
Although the result and performance were far from a disaster, it was another blow in a difficult week for the club which saw reports from top journalists suggesting Mbappé was unhappy at PSG.
Some reports say the forward was considering a January move after signing his new contract just 144 days ago.
“He feels betrayed by the club in the sense that everything the club promised him when he signed this new contract until 2025 has not happened,” said French football expert Julien Laurens at the BBC.
“The promises that they would sign a new striker so he could play in his best position against the striker, that Neymar wouldn’t be there and he would be sold, that they would sign a centre-back and he would be at the center of the project. All of these things did not happen.
“We knew there was tension and now he’s made up his mind and he doesn’t want to be there.
“He feels he made a mistake extending his contract and should have left in the summer, now he is looking at the January transfer window where he could go.”
However, the club denied such speculation and said the World Cup winner is happy where he is.
“I am with Kylian Mbappé every day. He never talked about leaving in January. He never discussed it with the president either,” club sporting director Luis Campos said ahead of Tuesday’s game.
“It’s not a statement from the player, it’s a rumour.”
Mbappé’s lawyer did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
With Messi currently injured, the club will need Mbappé’s attacking prowess if they are to continue their unbeaten form in the league.
The Parisian side face a difficult game against Marseille on Sunday and the club hopes that rumors of Mbappé’s departure will have died down.