It appears that a second season has been granted for one of the most intriguing transfer sagas of recent years.
Los Blancos could become closer than ever to signing one of soccer’s greatest talents a year after Kylian Mbappé decided to leave Real Madrid and sign a contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain. Or, they could be in for another summer of speculation about whether the striker will move to the Spanish capital.
Multiple reports this week claim that Mbappé has informed PSG that he will not be renewing his contract, putting the club in a difficult position: either they sell their star player this summer or they let him go free in 2024.
As it seeks to recoup some of the €180 million ($195 million) it spent in 2017 to sign Mbappé from AS Monaco, making him the second-most expensive player in history after teammate Neymar, could PSG be leaning toward the former?
Mbappé tweeted on Tuesday in response to a Le Parisien article titled “Kylian Mbappé wants to join Real this summer”: LIES … I have proactively said that I will go on next season at PSG where I’m exceptionally blissful.”
Given the player’s stature in France, French President Emmanuel Macron urged him to stay when rumors circulated that he would leave PSG in 2021. When asked about his future at PSG on Thursday, he told reporters that Macron has no effect on his career.
How influential is the President? None in 2023 regarding my career today. My goal is to remain in Paris, and he wants me to. According to Reuters, he told reporters that “we’re on the same wavelength.”
“Am I leaving PSG?” I have already responded and stated that my goal is to remain at PSG because that is my only option at the moment. When preseason begins again, I am prepared to return.
“I didn’t think a letter had killed anyone or offended anyone,” I stated.
Mbappé is only 24 years old and, frighteningly, most likely not yet at his peak, making it extremely unlikely that Real Madrid would be willing to pay an enormous fee for a young player. However, Real Madrid could sign Mbappé for free in just a year, which means that another year in Paris may very well be in the offing if Real Madrid tries to undercut PSG.
This season, Mbappé has witnessed Qatar’s PSG project fail; The team limped to the Ligue 1 title just ahead of Lens, a club with a fraction of its budget, and now must deal with the departures of Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos from the Parc des Princes after another meek exit from the Champions League in the round of 16.
Since Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) purchased PSG in 2011, the club’s prospects are arguably as dim as they have ever been. The club’s ambitions would likely suffer catastrophically if Mbappé, its hero and possibly the most influential player in French football, were to depart.
It will be difficult to adequately fill Mbappé’s enormous shoes, even with PSG’s and Qatar’s nearly limitless resources. Mbappé is widely regarded as soccer’s most talented player alongside Erling Haaland. During his six years in the French capital, he has been an unstoppable goal machine.
The superstar, who was born in Paris, has been the top scorer in Ligue 1 for five straight seasons and has scored a club record 212 goals in 260 games, surpassing Edinson Cavani, who set the previous record in March.
Altogether, Mbappé has brought home five Ligue 1 championships, three French Cups and two Association Cups in six seasons with PSG, as well as assisting the group with arriving at the 2020 Heroes Association last, where it lost to Bayern Munich.
Since the club’s takeover in 2011, winning the Champions League has been a priority for everyone involved, but PSG now appears further and further away from winning the competition for the first time in its history.
Mbappé would undoubtedly be signed by every team in the world, but his list of potential suitors will be rather short.
One of the best midfielders in the world, Jude Bellingham, has already been signed by Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund this summer. However, the departure of star striker Karim Benzema to Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia has left a huge hole in the team’s attack.
Since he was a young boy, Mbappé has been enamored with the idea of donning Real’s renowned white jersey.
There had been a number of reports that Real was in favor of acquiring Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane this summer; however, Mbappé’s statement to PSG may indicate that the club will instead resume its pursuit of Mbappé.
In a similar vein, Mbappé is likely to still command a hefty fee despite having only one year remaining on his contract, and Manchester United is looking for a new striker and has been linked with Kane. However, there is uncertainty regarding the next owner of the club, which could scupper an attempt to make an offer.
Obviously, Mbappé could be tempted by Saudi Arabia’s exorbitant salary, but it seems unlikely that the 24-year-old would waste his prime years in such a low-level league.
Last but not least, Mbappé could stay at PSG, as he did around this time last year, much to the dismay of everyone at Real Madrid, including the fans.
Regardless of how this story ends, whether you like it or not, it looks like it will continue for a long time.