Kylian Mbappe’s chances of staying at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have increased. The South Korean international is expected to link up with Lee Kang-in on the pitch.
Global media outlet ‘ESPN’ reported on Thursday (June 14), “Sources said Mbappe has been discussing a contract extension with PSG and the club is now confident he will stay. He returned to the first team after missing the Asian preseason tour and the opening game against Lorient,” ESPN reported.
“PSG had placed Mbappe on the transfer list to listen to offers after he refused to renew his contract. Last Saturday, Mbappe said he had positive talks with PSG and promised not to leave on a free transfer after his contract expires next summer,” indicating a possible stay at PSG.
PSG was acquired by Qatar Sports Invest (QSI) in 2011. Since then, the team has brought in some of the best players in the world, including through oil money. The best is the ‘MNM line’. Neymar broke the world record for the most expensive player in history, earning €222 million (approximately $323.7 billion). Mbappe left AS Monaco for €180 million (KRW 262.4 billion). Lionel Messi was signed as a free agent, but for an astronomical fee.
The goal was very clear. Win the UEFA Champions League (UCL), one of soccer’s most prestigious competitions. PSG was going to do it with the “MNM line” of Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar. It was a game-changing combination, but all their efforts came to naught. PSG was knocked out in the round of 16 for the second consecutive season by Real in 2021-22 (2-3 loss on aggregate) and Bayern Munich in 2022-23 (0-3 loss on aggregate).
Eventually, the “MNM line” disintegrated. First, Messi’s unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia led to a falling out. Despite a public apology, the controversy didn’t go away. There were even boos for Messi at the Parc des Princes. Eventually, Messi left Paris without a contract extension.
Messi narrowed down his options to two destinations. Saudi Arabia, with its astronomical money, and his hometown team Barcelona, where he could have a last dance in Europe.
The money was the main attraction for the Saudis. As he approaches the point of hanging up his cleats and retiring, he’ll be able to accumulate wealth from his huge salary. Barcelona, on the other hand, had the advantage of continuing to compete at the highest level. Messi was known to want to play in Europe until the 2024 Copa America, so a return to his hometown team was a possibility.
But the choice was unexpected. He chose Miami, a city that had been mentioned in the past. While not as lucrative as Saudi Arabia, the salary is astronomical and the infrastructure is optimal. Messi is set to earn up to $60 million in base salary alone in Miami, and he’s been taking the Americas by storm since his move, putting in a stellar performance in every game.
Neymar is on the verge of leaving the Parc des Princes. Offers have come in from Saudi Arabia, which has been lusting after the superstar with oil money. “PSG are eager to part ways with Neymar,” reports CBS Sports. The Saudis are ready to make a huge offer for Neymar. The decision hinges on whether Neymar wants to end his career at the highest level.”
“The Al Hilal leadership plans to travel to Paris, France, to confirm the signing of Neymar. The personal terms are expected to be similar to Cristiano Ronaldo’s €200 million annual salary. Al-Hilal is also willing to pay a transfer fee of €45 million for Neymar, but has not yet held talks with PSG.”
The Saudis have been scooping up superstars from around the world lately. Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo Brozovic (Al Nasr), Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante (Al Ittihad), Leo Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Al Hilal), Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez, and Alain Saint-Maximin (Al Ahli). Despite being approached by state-funded Al Hilal, Neymar was determined to stay at PSG.
However, there have been speculations about his departure ahead of the start of the season. “Neymar did not attend PSG training and was not invited to the media day for the official photo shoot,” said Fabrice Hawkins of France’s RMC Sport. Coach Enrique and president Luis Campos have informed Neymar that he is not part of their plans.” Later, it was reported that Al Hilal had approached the player again and was pushing for a deal. It was even rumored that a two-year deal had already been agreed.
Mbappe is the worst-case scenario. Transfer market insider Fabrizio Romano took to social media to shed light on the conflict between Mbappe and PSG. “The situation is very tense and the club is furious,” Romano said, adding that he was “surprised by the timing of the (rejection letter),” that “PSG has a contingency plan in case Mbappe leaves,” that “there is no chance of him leaving for free,” and that “the (rejection) leak was not expected because (contract) negotiations were ongoing.”
Mbappe has been linked with a move to Real, his dream club. He responded to the latest controversy by saying, “I did not ask to leave PSG or join Real. I only said that I would not exercise the option to extend my contract until June 2025,” he retorted. “I’m happy to stay here next season,” he added, meaning that he will honor his contract with PSG until 2024, and not extend it.
For PSG, the risk of giving Mbappe away for free. Instead of extending his contract, they are preparing to release him in a hurry. According to Euro Sport, PSG are looking for “at least £160 million” for Mbappe and are expecting bids from Europe’s biggest clubs. The situation is complicated by the fact that Mbappe wants an astronomical €240 million salary from whichever club he joins this summer. 꽁머니지급
Al Hilal, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been linked with the player. There are even rumors that Mbappe has already reached a secret agreement with Real. In the meantime, Mbappe is still not training with the PSG first team and it has been suggested that he could be out for the entire month of August.
Earlier, ‘ESPN’ reported that “Mbappe will not be involved in the opening game against Lorient. He is in a contract dispute with the club and has not trained with the first team under Luis Enrique. Mbappe could miss all three games against Lorient, Toulouse and Lens in August.” In fact, Mbappe missed the Lorient game and watched from the stands.
Then came the news that Mbappe had returned to the first team after constructive talks with the PSG hierarchy, increasing his chances of staying. It will be interesting to see if he can link up with Lee Kang-in, who was thought to be a long shot.