On Saturday evening, Kylian Mbappe almost certainly became the highest-paid footballer in the world. By signing a three-year contract at Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappe struck a dagger into the ambitions of Real Madrid.
Ahead of PSG’s final Ligue 1 match of the season against Metz, Mbappe was paraded on the pitch alongside club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, much to the delight of a fanbase who had assumed this would be his last game for the club, with his contract due to expire this summer. By the 50-minute mark, he had scored a hat-trick, underlining exactly why two of the world’s richest clubs have been fighting tooth and nail for so long to secure his services.
For several years, Mbappe has been the apple of Madrid’s eye. It is no exaggeration to say he has been an obsession of the Real’s president Florentino Perez. Many of the club’s key decisions in recent times have been guided by their mission to secure Mbappe.
When head coach Carlo Ancelotti rejoined Real last summer, he was informed by Perez that players would be sold to accommodate Mbappe’s wages. This is one reason Madrid headed into the campaign without Sergio Ramos, who left for PSG on a free transfer, and Raphael Varane, who signed for Manchester United in a deal worth more than £40 million. In recent windows, the club has also sold
Kylian Mbappe has signed a new three-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
The Athletic reported on Friday that PSG had tabled an offer to Mbappe, two years fewer than the previous deal they had put forward.
The French champions and player announced news of the deal in front of their fans at the Parc de Princes ahead of their final Ligue 1 game of the season against Metz on Saturday evening.
Speaking on the announcement, Mbappe said: “I’m really happy to continue the adventure here at Paris Saint-Germain. To stay in Paris, my city.
“I hope that I will continue to do what I prefer to with you all and win titles together. Thanks a lot”.
Mbappe’s contract with PSG had been due to expire in June, and it was reported on Monday that he had agreed personal terms with Real Madrid ahead of a potential free transfer.
However, PSG were still trying to convince Mbappe to change his mind and he had not yet signed any paperwork with Real.
PSG sources insisted to The Athletic that Real’s confidence that he would move to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer was misplaced.
PSG’s new offer had a significant focus on Mbappe being the centrepiece of the club’s brand going forward as a Paris-born player. He has now chosen to sign and stay at the Parc des Princes.
Mbappe had been at the centre of a transfer saga last summer, when Real made two bids for the forward. Both of those were rejected, despite Mbappe later confirming he had asked to leave PSG.
The France international is regarded as one of the finest forwards in Europe. He has scored 168 goals in 216 games for PSG, having joined them in 2017 from Monaco, the club with which he made his senior debut.
Mbappe won the World Cup with France in 2018 and the Nations League in 2021. He has also won Ligue 1, the French top flight, five times since emerging at Monaco.
On an individual front, he has been named the Ligue 1 player of the year three times, been selected in the Champions League squad of the season three times and was named as the best young player at the 2018 World Cup.
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The France international has shocked the footballing world by opting against joining Real Madrid despite the fact the switch seemed as good as done after last summer’s saga
Kylian Mbappe has confirmed he has penned a new three-year contract at Paris Saint-Germain and will remain in the French capital for the foreseeable despite Real Madrid’s intense interest.
In what was the transfer saga of last summer, Los Blancos applied huge pressure in their pursuit for his signature and submitted mega-money bids worth up to £200million to try and force the Parisian’s hands. Remarkably, with a year left to run on his deal at that time, PSG stood firm and rejected Real Madrid’s offers.
What followed has been an entire season’s worth of speculation as to where Mbappe would play his football beyond this summer. Given the context of the forward’s original contract expiring this summer, the consensus in Spain appeared to be that it was a foregone conclusion Mbappe would sign for the club as a free agent.
Speaking before the winter window at the turn of the calendar year, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez told Spanish outlet El Debate: “In January we will have news on Mbappe. Hopefully, everything can be sorted on January 1.”
Obviously, things were not sorted and thus the void created ensured more speculation and rumours would follow. As the summer edged closer, just about everyone associated with the player, PSG and indeed Real Madrid was pressed for comment on Mbappe’s future.
Mbappe himself stoked the rumour mill further with an interview on the eve of the January transfer window, as he explained how “life experience” is more important to him than money.
“Human ties are much more fascinating (than money),” Mbappe told Paris Match (via RMC Sport ). “It’s the life experience that counts, more than making money. “I am thirsty above all for discoveries , trips, meetings with players, different cultures. I have a quiet relationship with money: I know it’s important, I’m happy to have it, but that’s not what drives me every second of the day.”
At his press conference earlier this month, PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino kept his cards close to his chest as he explained: “I don’t know his decision, it’s something personal between Kylian Mbappe and the club. I may have inklings – but it’s up to Kylian and the club to communicate on it.”
Mbappe’s mother went some way to revealing that the decision is not one motivated by money before it had been confirmed, as both clubs offered the 23-year-old a similar deal. “We have an agreement with both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain,” Fayza Lamari told Kora Plus. “Kylian will now decide. The two offers from PSG and Real Madrid are almost identical. It’s up to Kylian now.”
Just a few months ago, Mbappe was rumoured to have penned a pre-contractual agreement with the Spanish giants. Even more recently, personal terms had been sorted and all that was left to do was simply wait until the season had finished.
However, PSG sources have since told the Athletic how Madrid’s confidence that the young star was always going to arrive at the Bernabeu was always misplaced. What a statement the French outfit have put out to the rest of the footballing world.
The final blow came in the form of a WhatsApp message from Mbappe sent to Perez, informing the Real Madrid chief of his decision. “I inform you that I have decided to stay at PSG,” Mbappe’s text read. The forward was gracious in his rejection.
“I want to thank you for the opportunity you have given me to play for Madrid, the club I have been a fan of since I was a child,” Mbappe went on.
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