L’Equipe tonight reports that with two years of his PSG contract remaining, French Word Cup winner Kylian Mbappe has not yet entertained the prospect of an extension that would keep him in Paris.
The player himself has not made any statement either suggesting an intention to leave the French capital, but with Real Madrid being a dream destination for a while now and with keen admiration for the work of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Mbappe has always seen PSG as a stepping stone.
There are four other potential suitors, but he’s unlikely to be interested in a move to Barcelona, as that could scupper any designs he has in eventually becoming a Real Madrid player. Bayern Munich is not keen to enter into nine-figure transfer deals, unless presumably they are the seller, and Juventus holds little attraction for the 21 year-old.
That leaves Manchester City, and while Mbappe holds Pep Guardiola in high regard, it’s not an acceptable option for PSG (Qatari-owned) to sell one of their star players to to a club owned by Middle Eastern rival, the UAE.
Let’s not forget Zinedine Zidane wanted to sign Mbappe and Paul Pogba this summer only for the pandemic to hit. And Los Blancos are convinced that Zidane’s presence as manager is a prospect too enticing for the youngster to refuse.
Real will hope to to sign Mbappe next summer in a similar way to how they pursued Eden Hazard from Chelsea. With just 12 months left on his Chelsea contract Real moved in with a €100m offer and the deal was done.
But we should not dismiss Liverpool. Way back in 2016, Klopp tried to convince Mbappe to come to Merseyside. And a year later the club’s two American owners landed their private jet in Nice and had the Mbappe family on board as guests, trying to negotiate and convince French football’s hottest property to forsake the Cote d’Azur for Merseyside.
Liverpool, reigning Premier League champions and having won another European Cup since contact with the Mbappe entourage began, has maintained a constant dialogue through Klopp.
It would not be the strangest thing in the world should the player find his way to England’s north-west, even if Madrid appears to be in pole position as things stand.
The other option of course is that he stays put at PSG, despite Sporting Director, Leonardo being frustrated at the lack of progress to date in extending Mbappe’s contract.
But it appears everything is not smooth between the player and his current club. According to Get French Football News Luis Ferrer, a member of PSG’s recruitment team is seeking to leave. Ferrer has long time relations with the Mbappe family. He contributed to the initial acquisition of the player in 2017, and regularly still accompanies Mbappe’s father to French national team matches.
As well, neither the club nor Mbappe himself publicly denied the Sunday Times information from September 13, claiming the player will join Real Madrid. Perhaps they were waiting on each other to take the lead.
PSG is also involved in delicately managing what they hope will be an extension to Neymar’s contract in parallel with Mbappe’s and won’t want to upset the ego of either star.
For Leonardo, playing for Brazil must have been a walk in the park by comparison.