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Mbappe’s Next Move Source of Increasing Online Sportsbook Activity

As one of the world’s most famous soccer players, the question of where Kylian Mbappe will be playing his soccer next season is a source of huge debate. And unsurprisingly, a lot of money is being placed with online sportsbooks by fans eager to profit from their hunch about the France superstar’s next move. With Mbappe’s contract at French champions Paris Saint-Germain set to expire at the end of the 2023/24 season, the striker’s choice of club in the summer 2024 is a topic of intense interest, and online sports betting sites have long been providing lines on the biggest soccer transfers. Mbappe is just the latest in a long list.

Biggest moves in history

What marks the move of Mbappe is different is that it will be on a free transfer as his contract expires. So we’re not going to run down a list of the most expensive soccer transfers in history, such as Neymar’s $261m move to Paris or Mbappe’s very own move to the French capital for $211.5m. Instead we’re talking about Bosmans – the name given to moves made by players upon expiry of their contracts. And there have been some sensational examples down the years, none more so than Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for Paris. PSG also managed to lure AC Milan and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma that same transfer window in 2021. Players of the calibre of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andrea Pirlo, Robert Lewandowski and Sergio Ramos have all taken advantage of the freedom of movement after their contracts expired.

Where to next for Mbappe?

In reality, the options for Mbappe are not abundant – at least if he isn’t prepared to take a huge wage cut. The simple fact is there are not many clubs in the world that could even afford the Frenchman’s wages, let alone any potential signing-on fees that are common when out-of-contract players join a new club. Perhaps the longest-running admirers have been Spanish giants Real Madrid, and from the outside the perennial Champions League winners seem the ideal candidates. With a history of Galactico signings like Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, this truly is a club big enough to fit Mbappe’s image. And with the finances to match the glamour, plus a young and talented squad that could help Mbappe claim a so-far elusive Champions League medal, the Spanish club seem the perfect fit. It’s little wonder that the numbers on Mbappe joining Los Blancos have tumbled to around -200 in American Moneyline odds.

According to the online sportsbooks, the next most likely option is to remain in Paris. That reality has seemed unlikely at times as Mbappe’s relationship with the club appeared strained. But again, PSG remain one of the very few clubs able to pay the astronomical wages the striker can demand, although the club have so far failed to deliver on their objective to bring a first Champions League trophy to the French capital. And a change of approach in recent times has been telling, with the club changing tack in its obsession with Galacticos such as Neymar and Lionel Messi to a focus on young up-and-coming talent such as who promises to be the next superstar of European soccer, Warren Zaïre-Emery. Watch this space for perhaps the next biggest saga of the European soccer scene. But Mbappe staying in France? You could nail down that choice at around 225.

Who else remains a viable option? Saudi Arabia, with all its wealth, has been hoovering up world football talent over the past couple of years, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Karim Benzema all choosing the Middle East. But unlike Mbappe, those players are at the tailend of their careers. And with many rumours of dissatisfaction among players, as well as underwhelming crowds at Pro League matches, it would be a huge surprise to see a player in his prime such as Mbappe to choose to leave the might of Europe and its continental prizes to go chasing the dime in Saudi Arabia. The odds here remain at about 1600 on the Moneyline.

Other mooted destinations have been Liverpool and Bayern Munich, albeit at much longer odds. The latter seems unlikely since the German side secured the services of England captain Harry Kane in the role of goalscorer. Liverpool’s need for a goal machine might be slightly more urgent with the ever more likely departure of Mohammad Salah seemingly imminent, but the Reds do not usually make eye-wateringly big transfer swoops, and a move for Mbappe would certainly bust any wage structure currently in place at Anfield. Although a boon for the Premier League, it’s hard to see this one materialising, as the odds of around 2000 suggest. Likewise Bayern.

It pretty much all boils down to Madrid or Paris. Which European capital will Mbappe find himself in next term? The online sportsbooks think Madrid, and plenty are willing to take that bet.

Published by Patrick Jane