Paris 2024: Macron still hoping for Mbappé. GETTY IMAGES

French President Emmanuel Macron says he remains hopeful that national team captain Kylian Mbappé will be able to play for his country at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

Emmanuel Macron continues to make statements in a very busy week. This time, he said he remained hopeful that national team captain Kylian Mbappé could pull on the France jersey as one of three overage reinforcements. "I hope he can play at the Olympics," Macron said in response to a question from students during a visit to a school in the French capital.

Mbappé has made it clear that he wants to represent France at the Games, but that possibility faded when Real Madrid recently warned that they would not release any of their players to take part in the Olympics.

The 25-year-old striker, who won the World Cup at Russia 2018 and finished runners-up at Qatar 2022, is currently at Paris Saint-Germain but has told the Ligue 1 club that he wants to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season, with Real Madrid his likely destination.

Mbappe is comforted by Macron after France lost the final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. GETTY IMAGES
Mbappe is comforted by Macron after France lost the final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. GETTY IMAGES

However, although Real Madrid are the frontrunners to secure the services of the French star and have stated that they will not be releasing any players for the summer games, the transfer is not yet complete. If he wishes, he could include a special clause allowing him to take part in the third Olympic Games to be held in his country, similar to what Argentina's Lionel Messi did when he signed for Inter Miami.

The Olympic Football Tournament, which will feature 18 players per team with three overage players allowed, is not a FIFA event, which means that clubs are not obliged to release players as they are during those events. Ultimately, it will be a matter of negotiation between the players and the clubs, with the clubs having the final say.

The Olympic football competition will begin two days before the Opening Ceremony on Friday 26 July. The tournament will be played from 24 July to 9 August in various stadiums across France, with France one of the favourites in a group alongside the United States, New Zealand and another team to be determined.