Kylian Mbappe wants out at PSG and Real Madrid is keen, but what’s really going on? NewsFile Desk has the latest
Kylian Mbappe’s complicated relationship with Real Madrid
Real Madrid isn’t considering yet another move for long-time top target Kylian Mbappe, sources told ESPN, after they were scorned by his last-minute U-turn that saw the star forward snub them to stay at Paris Saint-Germain last May.
ESPN reported on Tuesday that Mbappe, 23, is pushing to leave PSG — just five months after signing a new contract — after his relationship with club executives broke down over what he views as broken promises regarding team tactics and recruitment. PSG sporting director Luis Campos has denied the reports, saying Mbappe has expressed no desire to leave in the January transfer window.
Sources said Madrid is not planning on reigniting their longstanding interest in Mbappe, and while a move cannot be entirely ruled out should he become available, the LaLiga club is now focusing on other targets.
Mbappe Expected to Join Madrid
Mbappe was expected to join Madrid on a free transfer last June, bringing an end to a years-long saga that had seen him become a top priority for president Florentino Perez.
Yet Mbappe’s late change of heart saw the France international spurn Madrid to extend his deal at the Parc des Princes did not go down well at the Bernabeu.
Mbappe initially cited PSG’s “sporting project” as having convinced him to stay, but later said he had come under pressure from president Emmanuel Macron to continue his career in France. Sources told ESPN that Mbappe now feels that assurances he received about his role in the PSG team — he would like to play alongside a conventional No.9 and wanted an exit for teammate Neymar — have not been met.
Madrid chose not to bring in an alternative after missing out on Mbappe, putting their faith in Brazil forwards Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes to deliver alongside Karim Benzema. Vinicius, 22, has followed his win in the Champions League final by scoring seven times in all competitions so far this campaign, while Rodrygo, 21, has contributed four goals in Madrid’s unbeaten start.
In the long-term — and when the time comes to replace Benzema, now 34 — the club could revive their interest in Erling Haaland, after their pursuit of Mbappe and Benzema’s career-best form saw them drop out of the race to sign him this year. Haaland has made a spectacular start to life in the Premier League with Manchester City, scoring 20 goals in his first 12 games.
Javier Tebas, the president of LaLiga, told ESPN the league would welcome a player of Mbappe’s caliber if Real Madrid were to press ahead with a move.
“When I talk about Madrid, I do it thinking of most of their fans, who always are looking for exceptional players and top-world quality. And Mbappe is one of those players,” he said.
“I can see it’s difficult for the club because it hurts what he did to Madrid in the summer, but I don’t think fans are going to say no to adding such a player to their squad. If Mbappe comes, he will be applauded, cheered, followed … I am convinced.” — Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez