Kylian Mbappe is yet to communicate a decision over whether he will stay at Paris Saint-Germain or join Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer.
According to several sources familiar with the situation, Mbappe was leaning towards joining Madrid but influential members of his entourage have been left unconvinced by the Spanish club’s offer, which is delaying the process. Sources consulted for this article cover a range of voices across each of the three parties involved in the case — and they all requested anonymity to protect their positions.
As The Athletic previously reported, Mbappe has known since early January the conditions Madrid are willing to offer him. With the Frenchman’s PSG contract set to expire after June 30, they have been free to discuss terms as he is into the final six months of his deal in France.
Madrid’s proposal was lower than what was made available to him during the club’s previous negotiations over a transfer from PSG in May 2022, but it would still make Mbappe the best-paid player in Madrid’s squad.
According to sources familiar with those talks two years ago, Mbappe was offered a €130million (£110m; $140m at current rates) signing bonus and a salary of €26m per year in 2022.
PSG, meanwhile, several months ago presented the 25-year-old with a wide range of options to stay, with contracts ranging in length from short-term to long-term, which remain active and would see Mbappe remain around his current salary at the French club — sources say this is €75million after tax, before any bonuses.
Madrid’s president Florentino Perez has been in direct contact with Mbappe and has been the main driving force behind the Spanish club’s latest move for a player who turned them down two years ago, despite at one point them feeling sure he had agreed to move.
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Madrid are not able to match PSG’s offer, but sources with knowledge of the case say Perez feels that he has once again done everything possible to sign Mbappe and still hopes and believes he will accept. The Madrid president has attempted to convince Mbappe that signing for Madrid would take his profile to another sporting and marketing level. One source said that Perez has been “unusually closely” involved in the negotiations. In this case, however, there can be no guarantees — and such efforts proved fruitless in the past.
As talks progressed in early January, Madrid communicated to Mbappe’s representatives that they wanted to resolve this latest chapter of what has been a long-running transfer saga by mid-January. They have always been to avoid a repeat of what happened in May 2022.
But this ‘deadline’ was not welcomed by the player’s entourage, as they felt they needed more time. At the Santiago Bernabeu, sources are still waiting for a definitive answer that they expect will arrive “soon”.
Initially, Mbappe gave positive indications to Madrid, and the mood over a deal finally being reached had been positive in recent weeks. The optimism was such that it was conveyed to Carlo Ancelotti that everything pointed to the Frenchman being at his disposal from next summer.
However, sources consulted say that the player’s entourage is divided on how to proceed. According to them, important voices among Mbappe’s camp point out that Madrid’s offer is below what Mbappe earns at PSG, or could earn from another potential suitor.
However, key figures at the Parc des Princes have in recent weeks felt more pessimistic about securing Mbappe’s renewal. Sources at the club recalled that the player last summer decided against taking up an option to stay for an extra year, and they are aware that he has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Real Madrid.
Sources at PSG say the club feels relaxed about the situation. They feel protected economically by the fact Mbappe passed up the opportunity to collect a bonus that was due to him last summer, to the value of at least €80million. On a sporting level, the club insists it is committed to building a balanced project that does not depend on individuals but has the collective in mind first of all.
(Julien De Rosa/AFP via Getty Images)