Kylian Mbappe has stunned Paris Saint-Germain by presenting a formal letter to the club’s hierarchy, informing them of his decision not to take up the option of a one-year contract extension next summer.
Heart of the Matter
Unless Mbappé is convinced to either reverse his decision or negotiate a completely new deal, the striker’s contract will expire in June 2024. Thus, the 24-year-old would be able to leave PSG on a free transfer next year. The club hierarchy is said to have taken the news in the letter badly. They had previously thought that talks over a contract renewal were progressing well.
The most likely scenario now appears to be a sale this summer, with PSG keen to avoid losing their star asset for free. Despite the contract situation, Mbappé would probably still demand an astronomical fee. Perhaps that can even eclipse the £166m that PSG paid for him in 2018.
Interest from other clubs
The news will interest every elite club in Europe, particularly in the Premier League. Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been linked in the past but Real Madrid is an obvious destination now. The Spanish club have coveted Mbappé since his breakthrough season in 2016 at Monaco. And the feeling is mutual: the Frenchman was pictured as a child with Real posters on his bedroom wall. Young Mbappe even met Cristiano Ronaldo when he was 14. The void left by Karim Benzema’s departure to Saudi Arabia only heightens the chances of Mbappé making the move to Madrid.
Mbappé has long been admired by Madrid’s president, Florentino Pérez, and even after the shock renewal of his PSG contract last year – a deal that was said to include a salary of £20m after tax and a signing bonus in excess of £100m – the striker spoke openly about the idea of joining Madrid and called Pérez personally last year to explain his decision to stay.
“I have lots of respect for [Pérez] and for Real Madrid,” Mbappé said in May 2022. “They wanted to do a lot to make me happy. So I thank them for that. I’d also like to thank Real fans. I hope they’ll understand the fact I’ve chosen to stay [at PSG].”
“Determined to leave PSG”
All that seems to have shifted now. Mbappé is determined to leave PSG, where he has already won everything domestically. This includes five league titles and the Ligue 1 top scorer award, also on five occasions. During his time at PSG, Mbappé also won the World Cup in 2018, scoring in the final against Croatia, and hit a hat-trick in France’s defeat by Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final.
The Champions League is one trophy that has alluded to Mbappé. But with PSG expected to be a weaker team in Europe next season, it seems unlikely. Lionel Messi has already confirmed that he is joining Inter Miami. Neymar has also been heavily linked with a move away.
PSG have not given up hope of convincing Mbappé to stay. But the letter represents a crushing blow to the club. Should Mbappé leave, PSG’s dream of Champions League glory would surely be further away, not closer.
Via: The Guardian