The Frenchman is on the verge of announcing the decision on his future and whether he will renew with Paris Saint-Germain or transfer to Real Madrid as a free agent
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The conclusion of football’s highest-profile year-long transfer saga is just days away with Kylian Mbappe set to announce his future decision.
Widespread reports on Friday state that Mbappe is set to shun the opportunity to join Real Madrid and renew his contract at Paris Saint-Germain. It comes less than a year after the French club rejected a world record transfer offer from Los Blancos for the striker, whose contract at the Parc des Princes expires on 30 June.
Earlier this week the striker said that the decision on his future will be announced “in a matter of days” with an announcement set to be imminent. It is believed that Mbappe has already reached his decision but is yet to communicate it to either club.
PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino added more intrigue to the situation at his press conference on Friday: “I don’t know his decision,” the Argentine explained. “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.”
The indications that Mbappe is set to reject Madrid and stay in the French capital will come as a shock after he is had a verbal agreement in place to join Real Madrid earlier this season. As Marca reported, total certainty around the player’s desire to move to the Santiago Bernabeu has now disappeared and the overwhelming sense is one of ‘anguish’ in the Spanish capital.
The striker has recently hinted at a move to Real Madrid while a recent interview suggested that he is open to leaving France. The Frenchman recently faced the Spanish giants in the Round of 16 of this season’s Champions League as he netted a last-minute winner in the first-leg victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. He also bagged in the return leg in Madrid, opening the scoring before a sensational Karim Benzema hat-trick ensured that PSG suffered more European heartache.
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There have been suggestions that PSG are willing to make the 23-year-old their highest-earning player by offering him improved terms on Lionel Messi’s and Neymar’s respective contracts. Meanwhile, multiple reports have suggested that French president Emmanuel Macron has attempted to persuade Mbappe – with whom he has a friendship – to remain in Paris and reject the approach from the Spanish capital.
This political pressure has been significant in muddying the waters with Mbappe now no longer certain of exiting the Parc des Princes. As Marca wrote, this is not only from within France but from Doha, Qatar – who were desperate not to lose the star asset of their marquee European club, coming just months ahead of the World Cup which is set to take place in the Middle East for the first time.
However, most interestingly of all, Mbappe had one condition for remaining at PSG that was critical for him considering staying at the club. He demanded that he have an influential voice in the sport’s direction of the club, including a say on who is the manager and sporting director at the club along with potential incoming players.
Mbappe visited the Spanish capital last week and met with Madrid general director Jose Angel Sanchez, who cancelled other scheduled appointments with agents to meet with the striker on Monday and Tuesday.
Mbappe said on Sunday night as he collected his third consecutive Ligue 1 player of the year award: “I will officially announce my decision on the future before I join the France national team in June. It’s a matter of days then it will be official.” He continued that his decision “will be known very soon, it’s almost done. My decision is made, yes, almost.”
It is set to end one of the longest running transfer sagas in which both Madrid and PSG played a high stakes game of poker with the French club’s rejection of last summer’s world record bid a bold attempt to call their bluff and commit the striker to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes. It had long been thought such a move had failed, but now Real Madrid have been left sweating on the announcement.