The news about Kylian Mbappe’s move is that he might go to Saudi Arabia or Real Madrid.
Since the France captain refused to sign a contract extension at Paris St-Germain, the French champions are trying to get as much money as they can for their all-time leading scorer so that they don’t lose him for free next summer.
The Saudi Arabian team Al-Hilal shocked the football world on Monday by offering a world record price of £259 million for the World Cup champion.
What will happen next? Could he really choose the Saudi Pro League over the Champions League? And where will the forward probably end up?
How did we end up here?
Mbappe moved to PSG in 2017 from Monaco, first on loan and then for £166 million. He has scored 212 goals in 260 games.
Even though the Qatari-owned club has had a lot of success at home and put together a strikeforce with three of the world’s biggest stars (Mbappe, Neymar, and Lionel Messi), they have not won the Champions League, which was their final goal.
Mbappe is under contract until June 2024, but it came out last month that he told the club he would stay for this season but not sign a new contract.
The impact has gotten worse, and PSG didn’t let him go on their preseason tour to Japan and South Korea.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the chairman of PSG, has made it clear that he wants to take a tough stance. There have been rumors that Mbappe won’t be picked for a whole year if he doesn’t break the present deadlock.
Al-Hilal, one of four clubs owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, now has permission from Mbappe’s French team to talk to him.
So, is Mbappe going to Saudi Arabia, and how much could Al-Hilal pay him?
Lisa Leroux, a French football journalist, thinks the £259 million deal shows that Mbappe “really is a once in a generation player,” but “he won’t go, because for him it’s not just about the money.”
If Mbappe moved to Saudi Arabia, he would likely earn more than Cristiano Ronaldo, who went from Manchester United to Al Nassr in December and was said to be making £177 million a year.
It has been said that Mbappe could make close to £602 million a year on top of his salary from marketing deals and image rights.
“This salary has never been offered to a football player, or any athlete, for one year,” Leroux said. “His pay would be out of this world and would go down in history.
“About 59 million euros a month, or almost 2 million euros a day.”
Julien Laurens, a French football expert, agrees and says that Mbappe will not go to Saudi Arabia.
Laurens told BBC Radio 5 Live, “He doesn’t want to go there.” “Al-Hilal knows that when PSG says they have permission to talk to Mbappe, he doesn’t want to talk to them. He doesn’t care about money.
“He only wants to win as many trophies as he can. At 24 years old, the Saudi League is not part of that group.
Besides Saudi Arabia, where?
Real Madrid has liked the player for a long time, and he was almost moving to Spain before he signed his new deal with PSG last year. He says it’s “lies” that he wants to join Real this summer.
Also interested are Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Inter Milan, and Barcelona.
PSG is open to the idea of Mbappe going out on loan this summer so that he can finish the last year of his deal somewhere else.
This would let him join Real Madrid for free in a year, play the rest of this season, and earn a loan fee for PSG.
“We know that Barcelona called PSG yesterday and said, ‘Listen, we can’t pay any transfer fee for him, and we can’t even pay his wages,'” Laurens said.
“Mbappe makes 72 million euros gross a year, but no one can pay that, so he will have to take a pay cut. He knows this, but Barcelona said, ‘How about we swap players for Mbappe? Who do you want in our team?'”
“Every big club in Europe will try to come up with a plan to try to first get PSG to sell them Mbappe and then get Mbappe to join them.
“That could be United, Liverpool, or any of the other English teams. It could also be in Italy, but Real Madrid is the favorite because they have the money, he wants to go there, and they want him.
“As we’ve said before, they’ve been looking for him since he was 11. Real is the favorite, but are they willing to pay PSG the 150 million euros they want instead of waiting a year and getting him or nothing?