Alongside Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe is Europe’s most prominent proposal for greatness in the new generation of soccer superstars.
Mbappe is just 22, but he’s managed to win the World Cup with France (2018), as well as three French titles, two Cups, two League Cups, and two French Supercups with PSG, the glamorous West Paris club. He’s also played a Champions League final in 2020, which he lost in front of Bayern Munich. Everything happened with the speed of light for Mbappe, who only moved to PSG four years ago in 2017.
The transfer fee paid by Qatar-owned PSG to sign Mbappe was astronomical. After first impressing at AS Monaco in the French Ligue 1, Mbappe was loaned by PSG with an obligation to buy in 2017. The agreed transfer fee of $210 million was paid one year later, so PSG could comply with the financial restrictions imposed by soccer’s lawmakers.
PSG managed to beat interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona to get their man.
As time went by, and with goals, trophies, and big money pumping in, Mbappe surprisingly became rather interested in a change of air. Born and raised in Paris, he hinted on various occasions that he sees his career continuing outside his beloved hometown.
No contract extension for PSG and Mbappe
In February, Mbappe contributed with three goals at the famous Camp Nou in Barcelona as PSG took home a precious 4-1 win in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. It was another masterpiece from the French prodigy, and an alarm set for the club’s bosses.
Mbappe is out of contract at the end of the 2021-2022 season and PSG’s hierarchy can’t make any move on him, despite all their attempts. Talks over a contract extension aren’t really a priority for Mbappe. His actions suggest that his mind is already set on leaving. In order not to lose him for free one year from now, PSG is considering selling him this summer.
According to French paper Le Parisien, PSG finds itself “in a difficult situation” and “have lost patience” regarding Mbappe. Sources inside the French powerhouse have told the media that PSG’s asking price for a transfer at the end of the current campaign will be between $140 million and $180 million.
Talking to RTL after France beat Bosnia & Herzegovina 1-0 in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers on Wednesday, Mbappe also referred to his future and the criticism he got in Paris for not showing enough commitment this season. “It is tiring, especially when you play for a club in your country and when you know you give everything for your club and national team,” Mbappe said. “At a certain moment, you get tired, yes. I am in France all the time, I am spoken about a lot more than other players who live abroad. I knew that would be the case when I signed for PSG.”
Liverpool and Real Madrid desperate to sign him
Asked whether he’s taking his critics into account as he ponders his next move, Mbappe made his feelings heard. “We will see for the future. Of course, critics play a role [in my decision]. It’s not just that. You must feel good where you are and enjoy yourself. If there had been any progress in my talks to extend the contract, I would have already come to speak about it. I will do it once I make a decision.”
With Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez a keen admirer, and French manager Zinedine Zidane a potential key factor for the deal to happen, Mbappe also has Liverpool and other big spenders around Europe (Man City, Man United, or Chelsea) in his sights. If it does come to a bidding war, then Real and Liverpool will be regarded as hot favorites to snap him up, considering his affinity to Zidane, one of his childhood idols, and the relationship he developed with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp over the past few years. Mbappe is currently on a $20 million per year salary in France, the second-highest in the whole league, but still half of what his colleague Neymar is making.
The bookies see Liverpool in pole position to seal a summer deal for the Frenchman at +600. Real Madrid and Manchester City are both at +800, while Manchester United is at +1200. A move to Barcelona is at +2100.
This season alone, Mbappe has scored 30 goals in 36 games for PSG, already equaling his personal best from the last campaign. He now has six weeks to go before the conclusion of the season to beat his personal best.
In total, Mbappe has 120 goals in 160 games for the French club.