Kylian Mbappé – PSG dilemma with no way out: how realistic is a move for the France superstar?
Kylian Mbappé has caused an earthquake with his desire to change at Paris Saint-Germain. Some five months after his acclaimed contract extension in Paris and his resounding rejection by Real Madrid, the French superstar is once again looking for a move away. But what is behind the renewed flare-up of the transfer saga? And what option does Mbappé have regarding a possible move?
Kylian Mbappé beamed. “I am very happy to continue here. I have always said that Paris is my home. I hope I can continue to play successful soccer here,” he said in May. Speaking alongside PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the 23-year-old announced his contract extension until 2025, a precious signing that would usher in a golden era.
Five months later, there is no sign of the euphoria on that Saturday afternoon in May.
“Kylian Mbappé wants to leave PSG as early as January!” was the headline in the renowned French sports newspaper “L’Equipe” on Tuesday. The news caused a “thunderclap” in Paris.
The reason for the young superstar’s rethink is simple: Mbappé feels he has been taken for a ride.
Neymar vs. Mbappé: When Superstars Argue
Which is said to be mainly due to his teammate Neymar Jr. The two exceptional players occupy the same position – a circumstance that apparently causes great tension.
“We have made the mistake in the past of signing two players for the same position,” sports director Luis Campos admitted the mishap in squad planning to “RMC Sport”.
In fact, according to “L’Equipe”, Mbappé is said to have spoken out in favor of selling Neymar after his contract was extended. After all, he is said to have been assured a say in transfers in his new contract.
In a team full of superstars, the 2018 world champion wanted to become the sole leading player. However, after Neymar’s departure and the signing of Lionel Messi, this project was put on hold for the time being.
This development has now led to Mbappé feeling that he has been shown up by those responsible at PSG – and wants to pull the ripcord. But how realistic is his departure from the club on the Seine?
Mbappé change is proving difficult
“This is not a statement from the player, this is press information. I’m here to deny and say clearly that Kylian Mbappé has never spoken to me or to the president about leaving PSG in January,” Campos told “Canal+” ahead of the Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica Lisbon (1-1).
“I have not raised the issue at all, neither with my players nor with my staff,” PSG coach Christophe Galtier also expressed seemingly cluelessness about the Mbappé case. “I didn’t see any players rattled by this rumor. I didn’t raise the issue, either individually or collectively.”
Accordingly, a short-term transfer in the upcoming winter transfer window in Paris is currently not at all up for debate. And why should it be?
As reported by the Spanish “Marca”, Mbappé’s price tag is said to be around 400 million euros – an amount that would almost double the previous record transfer fee of 222 million euros for Neymar. Incidentally, the information refers to a conversation between PSG and the superstar’s representatives about a possible transfer in July 2022, two months after his contract extension.
The absurd demands of the French should thus deter for the time being those clubs that could even remotely afford Mbappé’s services. But even a departure for a lower transfer fee is unlikely.
After all, a concession on the part of Paris would be a sign of weakness. With Mbappé apparently pocketing a signing bonus of €300 million and an annual salary of around €85 million when his contract was extended, according to the New York Times, the deal would prove to be an absolute flop for the capital club if the 23-year-old were to leave.
However, as “Le Parisien” reports, PSG is currently struggling with the highest deficit in the club’s history. In the 2021/22 season, the club recorded a record loss of 300 to 350 million euros. On the one hand, this is due to the consequences of the Corona crisis, but on the other hand it is also due to the enormous salary costs – such as those of problem child Mbappé.
Mbappé change in the summer: Who can at all?
In addition to the financial aspect, Mbappé’s footballing importance also plays a major role, of course. Who should replace the touted world footballer of the future? A sale in the winter would also make no sense from a sporting point of view (twelve goals in 13 games).
Rather, if tensions persist, a transfer in the summer would be more likely. This would give PSG enough time to look for an adequate replacement, and Mbappé would not make a rash decision. But here, too, the question arises as to who would want to afford the Frenchman in the first place.
As “Marca” further reported, Liverpool FC is already said to be getting into position. In view of its ongoing crisis in the Premier League, LFC could use a breath of fresh air in its own offense – and may also be looking for a potent replacement for Mohamed Salah should the Egyptian leave.
However, in view of Liverpool’s transfer history, which has been rather conservative in the past and refrained from mega-transfers, a surcharge by the Englishmen seems unlikely, even if Paris’ pain threshold should shift to realistic values around 100 million euros for some reason.
While Liverpool could use a player like Mbappé, the question has already been settled for the next financially strong candidate. Manchester City already has a luxury squad, headed by an outstanding Erling Haaland. So Pep Guardiola has absolutely no need.
At FC Bayern Munich, by the way, Mbappé will not be an issue either. As in previous years, the star player moves in salary spheres that the German record champion does not want to enter. A player like the 23-year-old would go completely beyond the scope at Säbener Straße. In any case, Munich are interested in another striker – namely Harry Kane.
Mbappé flirts with Real – but the tablecloth is cut
According to “Marca”, however, there is only one option for Mbappé anyway: Real Madrid. After the transfer drama last spring, however, a renewed flirtation between the royals and Mbappé, who was actually touted as Ronaldo’s successor, is likely to prove difficult.
At PSG, this desire meets with the greatest resistance, as reported by “L’Equipe”. Accordingly, the club’s officials are said to have made it clear that a move to Los Blancos would not be approved.
Apart from the (expensive) tug-of-war of a few months ago, the ongoing feud between Al-Khelaifi and Real president Florentino Pérez is also said to play a role. The two bosses have been at war for some time over the Super League.
In addition, it is not considered a foregone conclusion that Real will make another effort for the Frenchman after the clear rejection last May. “The poor man will regret it,” said a mischievous Pérez at the time in the direction of Mbappé: “This is not the Mbappé I wanted to get. He’s another whose dream has changed.”
Tenor: The 23-year-old has gambled it away (for now) with his dream club.
In view of the cited (non-)opportunities that Mbappé offers, the route for the coming months seems clear: Mbappé remains in Paris.
If the Frenchman doesn’t decide out of the blue to give up a large part of his current salary (85 million euros per year), PSG will be the only option.