Paris: What will Kylian Mbappe do when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires in June?
PSG would like to know, Real Madrid would like to know, and so would legions of fans at other big European clubs dreaming of seeing the France striker play in their colours.
But Mbappe remains tight-lipped as the saga surrounding his possible transfer continues and PSG push to keep hold of their star asset.
“He’s made it very clear that he has an agreement with me,” PSG president Nasser Al Khelaïfi told L’Equipe this week, without being more specific on the nature of the deal.
“We have a great relationship, he’s the best player in the world. I’m not going to hide the fact that I want to keep him,” Al Khelaïfi said. “I’m confident because the best place for him is Paris, as a French player, as captain of the national team, vice-captain of PSG, having been there for seven years. He has the ambition to do great things with Paris.”
Details of the supposed deal reached between Mbappe and PSG have not been revealed. According to reports in French media, Mbappe agreed to forgo several financial bonuses if he joins another club, meaning he won’t leave PSG for free.
Madrid pursuing aggressively
Mbappe has been in a similar position before, making PSG wait until the end of his then-contract before signing a new one in May 2022 when Madrid were aggressively pursuing him.
He has said he doesn’t know when he will be ready to announce his decision this time.
Asked whether Mbappe has explained why it takes him so long to make a decision, Al Khelaïfi brushed off concerns.
“We’re calm. I have 200 per cent confidence in him. He’s a good lad. He gave me his word and he’s a man of his word. I believe in him,” the PSG president said. “I can only say that I’m not stressed. Financially and about Kylian.”
Mbappe caused a stir last summer by refusing to sign a 12-month extension and was briefly sidelined by PSG amid the contract dispute. Tensions have eased since and the France star is authorised to talk to clubs in January and sign a pre-contract agreement.
If he leaves, Real Madrid are the most likely destination after the Spanish club failed twice with previous bids to sign him, with Liverpool also reportedly in talks with the striker.
As PSG pursue their so far unfulfilled dream to win the Champions League, Mbappe has been focusing on his goals for the current season instead of speculating about his next move in his rare public comments.
“I am very motivated for this season. It’s very important, we have trophies to win. Beyond that, no, I haven’t made my decision,” Mbappe said.
The France striker has started off the new year on the right foot. He scored to help PSG win the first silverware of the French season with a 2-0 victory over Toulouse in the Champions Trophy, then scored a hat trick against a lower-tier team in a French Cup game last weekend.
Resumes after winter break
PSG’s next game is at Lens on Sunday as the league resumes following a winter break. PSG have a five-point lead over Nice, who travel to Rennes on Saturday. Third-place Monaco host Reims.
Besides Mbappe’s future, PSG have added worries ahead of their Champions League round-of-16 meeting with Real Sociedad next month after defender Milan Skriniar injured his left ankle and needed surgery.
PSG have recruited one extra defender during the January transfer window with the arrival of 20-year-old Brazilian player Lucas Beraldo. In the meantime, the expected arrival of highly rated Corinthians midfielder Gabriel Moscardo has been put on hold because of a left foot injury.