The situation surrounding Kylian Mbappe’s future has taken an unexpected turn, with his departure from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) now appearing inevitable. Just days ago, after winning the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award once again, Mbappe had pledged his allegiance to PSG and expressed his contentment in Paris. Real Madrid President Florentino Perez’s comment about signing Mbappe later was initially perceived as a message to the fans. However, recent developments have escalated swiftly, indicating an imminent departure from the Parisian superclub.
A year ago, it seemed even more certain that Mbappe would head to the Spanish capital as a free agent. Yet, the Frenchman changed his heart and signed a contract extension with PSG, sparking criticism for his decision to remain in his comfort zone and forgo a move. Real Madrid felt slighted then, and there were suggestions that Mbappe’s entourage influenced his decision to abandon his childhood dream. However, Perez, displaying wisdom and restraint, accepted Mbappe’s apology and repeatedly emphasized that the doors at the club were still open to him.
However, according to insiders close to the club, the Real Madrid hierarchy desired more than just words from Mbappe. They wanted him to take action, particularly after Karim Benzema’s swift departure, rather than waiting until next year when Mbappe’s contract with PSG was set to expire. The agreement was structured on a “2+1” basis, with an extra year clause that could be activated with Mbappe’s consent. If he declined, the clause would be automatically canceled on August 1st.
Legally, Mbappe was not obligated to act, but he deliberately sent a letter to PSG stating his refusal to stay at the club until 2025. PSG officials believe this was a deliberate move, especially since a copy of the letter found its way into the press before reaching the club. Journalist Josep Pedrerol, who has strong ties to Real Madrid, is convinced that Perez was aware of the letter in advance.
Other sources indirectly confirm this version, suggesting that Perez has been in frequent contact with Mbappe in recent days. Furthermore, as confirmed by insiders, Real Madrid has the financial means to acquire the French star. The difference lies in the specific transfer fees involved. According to one version, Real Madrid will focus on two high-profile transfers, signing Jude Bellingham and Mbappe, while cooling their interest in Harry Kane and Kai Havertz. Others claim that €400 million would be sufficient to secure not only Mbappe but also Kane and Havertz.
The latter scenario seems somewhat implausible, though, as Real Madrid already has Rodrigo and Vinicius Junior, the new number seven of the club, who occupy the attack’s left flank. Vinicius’s impressive performances could require Mbappe to adjust his position, potentially moving to the right wing, where he excelled during the victorious 2018 World Cup. Nevertheless, the focus should not yet be on Madrid’s tactical plans with Mbappe; last year’s situation remains a sensitive topic.
However, a significant difference exists between the current situation and that of last summer. PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi is reportedly shocked by Mbappe’s behavior, considering the club’s efforts to elevate him as a central figure in their project. Club advisor Luis Campos, who played a significant role in Mbappe’s signing, may face repercussions. PSG did not anticipate leaks to the press during the negotiation process. Frustrated by Mbappe’s perceived difficult behavior, the Qatari owners are now willing to entertain all offers to sell him.
Consequently, PSG has devised a Plan B, prepared to sell Mbappe now rather than risk losing him as a free agent. The price tag is set at €180 to €200 million. Given the strained relationship between PSG and Real Madrid management, the Parisians would prefer to offload the rebellious forward to another club.
The English Premier League appears to be the most likely destination, with moneyed Chelsea named as one of the contenders by The Times. While Chelsea may not hesitate to meet the price, it’s important to remember that Mbappe is not a soulless commodity. He made a mistake last summer and wants to rectify it by fulfilling his dream of joining Real Madrid. The outcome now depends on the pressure exerted by Madrid, and proactive moves from Perez are expected shortly.
Meanwhile, Mbappe has responded to the reports, reiterating his desire to remain in Paris for the upcoming season.