The future of 2018 World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe will be the transfer saga of 2021, with his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expiring in just over a year.
Mbappe is a likely future Ballon d’Or winner and has already achieved more at the tender age of 22 than most players manage in an entire career, and even at a time of huge financial difficulty for most football clubs, he has no shortage of suitors.
He recently tore Barcelona apart in the Champions League and would significantly improve any team in the world if they can convince him to join and have the finances to make it happen.
Read on for 90min's rundown on Mbappe's future as it stands.
Mbappe's contract situation
PSG still hold onto hope that Mbappe will sign a new contract to extend his stay at Parc des Princes, but the player himself does wish to join Real Madrid - the Spanish champions being his preferred destination.
Ideally, PSG would like to receive a world record fee in excess of the €222m (£200m) they paid for Neymar in 2017. But, realistically, that is unlikely given that Mbappe will enter the final year of his contract this summer and with the current climate has suppressing the transfer market.
Instead, PSG may have to accept an offer closer to €175m (£150m), which would actually represent a slight loss on the €180m deal they agreed with Monaco to sign Mbappe in the first place.
PSG are already considering a future without Mbappe. Their primary interest is Barcelona superstar and six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and they would not have the resources to reunite the Argentine with ex-teammate Neymar and still keep Mbappe as well.
Eden Hazard is another player that PSG like and is being discussed by club officials at the highest level. It appeals that they could potentially sign both he and Messi without a transfer fee, if the Belgian is included in part-exchange for any deal with Real Madrid for Mbappe, although Messi and Hazard could collectively command wages in the region of €1m per week.
Real Madrid’s plan to sign Mbappe
Real Madrid would be prepared to include Hazard in an approach for Mbappe, which could significantly lower the cash outlay required for a transfer.
But how Los Blancos plan to otherwise finance a bid for Mbappe would be a genuine concern.
Any cash does not necessarily have to be an up-front payment because it is not a release clause that is being triggered as was the case with PSG and Neymar in 2017. 90min has also been told by sources close to Real that the finances for an Mbappe deal are in place because president Florentino Perez has been planning this deal for two years already.
Mbappe could be the highest earning player in the world should he join Real, with any contract likely to be worth close to €700,000 (£600,000) per week. That would likely eclipse Messi, whose salary in his next contract next season, whether at Barcelona or elsewhere, is expected to be significantly lower than his current deal worth over €850,000 per week.
As things stand, there are no official talks between PSG and Real over Mbappe.
Real's high earners & other targets
Real, who didn’t add to their squad in 2020, are additionally targeting a number of other players – David Alaba, Eduardo Camavinga and Paul Pogba among them. For that reason, the club is keen to offload some of their existing big earners to create as much space in the budget as possible.
As well as selling off fringe players, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are veterans with no long-term future in Madrid and the club will not stand in the way should any of them have an offer to leave. Karim Benzema could have fallen into that bracket, but Real would rather keep him for the time being to help ease fellow countryman Mbappe settling in.
Gareth Bale is set to stay on loan at Tottenham for the final year of his Real contract next season. Despite having to top up his salary as part of that deal, the Welshman being in London does still reduce the wage bill in Madrid. Hazard going would also be another big salary cut.
Mbappe, the Premier League & Liverpool
Liverpool have been the Premier League side most heavily linked with a move for Mbappe and he could be the perfect addition to a squad that badly needs an injection of fresh blood.
The 22-year-old has admiration for Liverpool, as well as Manchester United and Manchester City in England. But sources close to him have distanced the player from recent speculation that he actively wants to move to the Premier League.
Real Madrid have been in his sights for a long time, while there are also doubts as to whether Liverpool in particular could actually afford an approach. Accommodating Mbappe would see the club break their wage structure and Champions League football for next season - something Mbappe would obviously want - is no longer a guarantee.
Source : 90min