FC Barcelona is trying to hijack Real Madrid’s supposed deal with Kylian Mbappe according to Spanish paper AS. The 22-year-old Paris Saint-Germain and France superstar attempted to leave Paris over the summer to join Real, but PSG ignored all incoming bids from Madrid.
Mbappe becomes a free agent in the summer of 2022, so he will be able to negotiate a cost zero move to any club starting January 1st.
PSG have a final opportunity to sell in the January transfer window, otherwise they’ll lose Mbappe for free. That is, of course, if the board don’t convince him to extend his stay at Parc des Princes with an impossible to refuse the offer. The plan which would see Mbappe staying seems unlikely at the moment, but there are signs he is keeping all offers on the table before making a fresh decision.
Financially troubled Barcelona will try to tempt Mbappe with a $105 million signing bonus, almost double of what they believe Real Madrid will offer. Barca’s chiefs are aware of the player’s wish to play for Real Madrid, a club he rooted for as a child. At the same time, they compare $105 million to the $60 million Real are ready to pay him as a welcome bonus and think they stand a chance.
Barcelona, on the verge of bankruptcy
Disastrous handlings of the club’s finances and the COVID-19 pandemic have hit Barcelona’s accounts really hard. Barcelona’s operating net loss during the past year was $560 million, with the club’s total debt estimated now at $783 million. Club officials spoke openly about Barcelona facing bankruptcy.
In 2021, Barcelona lost their symbol in Messi, who went to PSG, and Griezmann, with the Frenchman taking the plane back to Madrid to re-join Atletico. The Blaugrana only signed free agents to try and inject some new strength into the team following a dismal campaign. Barcelona’s bosses expected to not be able to pay any money on transfers in the next two years. But an increase in the salary cap as per La Liga financial fair-play regulations could see them ideally able to go after Mbappe.
It’s not Barcelona’s first try to bring Mbappe to Camp Nou. In 2017, they had the chance to get him for $140 million plus $35 million in add-ons but decided to go after Ousmane Dembele instead. That year, Mbappe finally left AS Monaco for PSG on a loan plus obligation to buy for $210 million active in 2018.
In order to try and lure Mbappe away from Real Madrid, Barcelona is keeping close contact with Pini Zahavi, the super-agent who orchestrated the most expensive transfer in the history of football. In 2017, he worked on Neymar’s $260 million move from Barcelona to PSG.