“A Real Madrid player, then the Real Madrid coach and now the president talk about Kylian as if he was already one of their own. I repeat: this is a lack of respect that we cannot tolerate.” — Leonardo, PSG Sporting Director
Mbappe is at the centre of perhaps the most protracted transfer saga of recent times, with the young Frenchman linked with a move to Real Madrid since before he even moved to Paris in 2018. Things will come to a head this summer though with his deal set to expire at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
Mbappe’s time at PSG has been a success with three Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France trophies and a seemingly endless list of personal honours, although the Champions League has remained elusive for the rapid striker. Could his desire to win the biggest competition in club football influence his decision this summer?
The links with Real Madrid have been consistent and noisy, but Mbappe does have options. Let’s take a look at his dream, realistic and wildcard choices.
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The mutual appreciation between Real Madrid and Kylian Mbappe has been longstanding and, although the charm offensive from Madrid hasn’t always been welcomed by PSG, there does seem to be an air of inevitability concerning the Frenchman’s future.
He certainly fits the bill for the Spanish giants, with the World Cup winner possessing both the ability on the pitch and the reputation off it to be considered a ‘Galactico’. Mbappe can certainly handle the big occasions, as proven by his goal in the World Cup Final at just 19 years old.
The move to Madrid could’ve happened last summer with Real Madrid submitting a bid for the striker, although it was swiftly rejected by the French side. This summer the decision rests with the player himself and, at this point at least, it would appear that he’ll be playing in La Liga next season.
As much as a move to Real Madrid looks as though it could happen, perhaps the most likely conclusion to this saga is that PSG offer Mbappe a financial package that he just can’t turn down. Money certainly is no object to the Qatari-backed club and enough money would surely make Mbappe sign a long-term contract.
Mbappe doesn’t appear desperate to leave his homeland, with comments in the media stating the situation hasn’t been resolved and that he doesn’t know what this summer will bring. The chances of him staying at PSG increase as the days go by, with Real Madrid not offering the right deal to make him sign a pre-contract agreement.
Mbappe could also want to achieve some personal goals at the Parisian club. PSG have long been desperate for, but never won, the Champions League, and Mbappe could be willing to remain at the club to shore up his legacy as the star who led them to a maiden European Cup. Assuring dominance in France and conquering Europe could be the challenge Mbappe craves rather than helping Real Madrid to a 14th European title.
Whilst Mbappe has consistently, and loudly, been linked to Real Madrid, there have also been (much quieter) rumblings that he could favour a move to Liverpool for footballing reasons. He has spoken of his respect for Jurgen Klopp and that, coupled with an exciting set up at Anfield, could be enough to convince Mbappe to test his skills in the Premier League.
It’s very unlikely that Liverpool would be able to match the wages on offer elsewhere, but they would give Mbappe the attacking footballing style and welcoming atmosphere that sometimes seems lacking elsewhere.
A move to Liverpool is definitely the least likely option here for Mbappe, but if Real Madrid can’t get their deal over the line, and PSG can’t convince him to stay at Parc de Princes, then a move to the Premier League giants could well be the best for the youngster.
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Will he stay at PSG?
At this point, it seems as though it’s 50/50 over where Mbappe will be playing next season. PSG and Real Madrid could stand the same chance of having him pull on their strip in the 2022/23 season, but there are sure to be plenty of twists and turns before he signs his name to any contract.