Kylian Mbappe can no longer activate the contract extension option with PSG. The primary transfer saga of the summer shows no signs of ending.
Firm Stance in Qatar
The fundamental position of PSG regarding Kylian Mbappe remains unchanged. The management feels deceived and believes that the forward, who declined to activate the contract extension option, already has an oral agreement with Real Madrid to move to the Spanish capital as a free agent next summer. The reason for the anger lies in Mbappe's promises not to leave Paris for free. The player denies these agreements through media leaks from his entourage. However, RMC Sport claims that PSG did not hesitate to do the math: Mbappe publicly made similar statements eight times.
All moves have been made, and the club is confident in their righteousness. This includes the decision to exclude the rebellious star from the squad for the Japan tour as a reaction to his non-compliance with the ultimatum. After that, PSG announced new deadlines, stating that Mbappe must decide on the contract extension or leave by July 31. Otherwise, he will have to spend the whole season on the bench. Over the weekend, Marca even reported that the forward is no longer part of Luis Enrique's plans for the new season. And on Monday, Foot Mercato specified that the fundamental decision to relegate him to the bench has been made.
However, the language of ultimatums is one of many in which the club and the player's representatives communicated. PSG tried to find a compromise by offering an additional agreement in which Mbappe would extend his contract until the summer of 2025, with guarantees of his departure after one year. Naturally, the response was negative, and Mbappe did not even react to the last letter from the club's office offering a meeting.
And that's expected, considering that Real Madrid was not eager to pay for a player who could have moved to Madrid for free last summer. However, according to media close to the Royal Club, the Frenchman has already been promised a signing bonus of 130 million euros as a free agent. The Mbappe family certainly wants to take advantage of such a sum. Adding to that the 80 million euros for loyalty from PSG, which are due to be paid in equal parts on July 31 and August 31, it's easy to understand why the player claimed to be willing to stay in Paris until the end of his current agreement.
It was naive to assume that at midnight on July 31, the carriage would instantly turn into a pumpkin, as in a fairy tale. Especially considering that just a couple of days ago, PSG did not decide on the showy withdrawal of Mbappe from the squad for the entire season, waiting for a verdict from Doha. After all, there is a big difference between the long-standing story of Rabiot being excluded from the team for refusing to sign a new contract and one of the world's best footballers.
Yes, based on the example of Messi, who was fined and excluded from the squad, PSG has already shown that it can match a bull and Jupiter if it wants to. However, it still damages the club's reputation. In the case of Mbappe, even if we assume the moral correctness of the club, it will be a direct violation of the contract and the fundamental right to work. The French footballers' union has already been reminded of this.
Besides, the sudden moves will undoubtedly affect the star's value, and PSG still wants to profit from him. Insiders in Spain and France converge in their opinion that Real Madrid is currently not taking any steps, avoiding comments, and putting psychological pressure on PSG. The interpretations of Madrid's strategy differ.
According to Le Parisien, the Spanish side will drag it out to the last minute and then try to buy Mbappe at a minimum price. RMC Sport, in turn, assures that PSG is expecting offers after July 31, but at a price that would be humiliating for the club. Naturally, they will reject it, and Real Madrid will have the right to claim that they tried to sign the player, but "no" came from Paris. And even a 3-0 loss to Barcelona with 29 shots and four hitting the frame will not lead to activating the Paris direction. This was indirectly confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti, who remarked that without a classic "nine," the team creates numerous opportunities and will improve the game in that direction.
Resolution or a new scandal?
Are there any alternative options for Mbappe's career continuation? It seems not. The expected rejection from the Saudis followed their astronomical offer of €700 million for a single season with Al Hilal before joining Real. Though the sum intrigued Kilian's family, it declined as anticipated, even by the Saudis. According to Fabrizio Romano, no substantial negotiations have been with English Premier League clubs. Jurgen Klopp even joked that at Liverpool, they laughed at the new rumors, as such a deal is financially unfeasible. However, on Monday, it was reported that "Chelsea" owner Todd Boehly contacted Nasser Al-Khelaifi seeking permission to start negotiations with Mbappe.
As for a scenario with Barcelona, it initially seemed like a fantasy due to the Catalan club's financial situation. Ultimately, the swap deal involving Gavi, Rafinha, and Dembele was rejected by both PSG and Mbappe. Instead, a scandal involving Dembele and a displeased Xavi occurred. According to L'Equipe, the Frenchman felt offended and refused to renew his contract with the Blaugrana, prompting the French champions to initiate negotiation requests.
Nevertheless, the conclusion of Mbappe's saga is near, and most sources are confident that a deal will be reached. In a situation where PSG wants to sell the player, he dreams of "Real," and Madrid needs him, an agreement between the parties is inevitable. It might happen as early as this week. Parisians are eager to settle the matter before the French championship starts on August 12. However, the price of €230 million seems exaggerated by ESPN, possibly due to their fear of losing the contract war with English clubs in a year. RTL France's estimation of €180 to €200 million appears closer to the truth. Technically, these are just details.
What's more important is that the primary transfer saga of the summer of 2023 is coming to its logical conclusion. It is hard to imagine Mbappe being benched for a year. But it's easier to picture him wearing a white jersey at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, the series might still prolong. The Telegraph hinted at this possibility, citing insiders who suggest that PSG didn't like that Mbappe refused to even meet with representatives from Al Hilal. This is seen as a confirmation of his agreement with "Real." As a result, Paris is considering the possibility of filing a complaint with FIFA. Although it's practically impossible to prove Madrid's contact with Mbappe, the situation could become more complicated.