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Here we go again, Mbappé… the football transfer saga that never ends! 🤦‍♂️

June 29, 2023

Here we go again, Mbappé… the football transfer saga that never ends! 🤦‍♂️

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What’s going on with the French superstar? 🤔

Why is he still not a Real Madrid player? 😢

Keep reading as we break down all the latest business and rumors behind this transfer saga! ⏭️

Kylian Mbappé. There’s really no need for an introduction. At 24 years old, he is a household name not only when it comes to football but also beyond sports. His performances throughout the World Cup last year - culminating in that iconic hattrick vs. Argentina that had millions of Messi fans on the brink of another huge dose of PTSD - have solidified his legacy for decades to come.

And let’s not forget that he was already a World Champion before La Pulga secured that status.

It’s something about a young, talented player that rises to global fame at such a tender age that sports fans just can’t get enough of. In football, we see it all the time. Lionel Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Haaland. In other sports, we can name someone like Lebron James, who famously entered the NBA straight out of high school.

The thing about these young superstars is that they attract so much attention at an age where they probably aren’t prepared for it yet. Sometimes it shows, other times they mature pretty quickly and adjust their entire lifestyle accordingly.

Needless to say, Mbappe is an example of someone who adjusted accordingly. At 19 years old, he absolutely dominated teams in the 2018 World Cup, drawing comparisons to legends like Pele and Ronaldo Nazário. The maturity both on and off the field that he showed in those outings confirmed that he is a true candidate to be the heir to the throne shared by Messi and Ronaldo for the last decade and a half.

Coming back to present day, and PSG’s #7 is arguably the best player in the world at the moment, alongside Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi. The reality is that he’s been juggling in the Top 4, maybe 5 since his PSG debut. That being said, it’s no surprise that Real Madrid have been itching for his signature for the last 6 years.

Which brings us to the crucial question that we’ve all been asking ourselves for what seems like a lifetime: why is Mbappe still at PSG? Despite dreaming since he was a boy of wearing that famous white kit in order to follow in his idol Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps, it still has yet to happen.

The answer really lies in the realm of business and negotiations, which eventually feed into personal feelings. Despite Mbappe’s recent Twitter claim on June 13 saying he is happy at PSG and has no plans of leaving this summer, it’s been plain obvious since he was a teenager that he wants to one day suit up for Los Blancos. So why does he keep refusing their offers?

To understand the full scope of this transfer saga, we have to go back to 2017 when he first arrived at PSG (initially on a loan) following a stellar breakthrough season for Monaco. Real Madrid had jumped into the race early on in the transfer window and for a moment were on the brink of securing the youngster’s signing.

Despite the deal progressing well and the intention from both Mbappe and Florentino Perez to make it happen, ultimately in came down to Wilfried Mbappe, the striker’s father, and his uncertainty about how he would fit into the current project that included the BBC trio up top that was fresh off winning a second consecutive Champions League. A third one would arrive the following season.

Eventually, PSG would step in and, led by former boss Unai Emery, would eventually convince Mbappe to return to his hometown and, with newly-signed Neymar beside him, kickstart a shiny new project that had a lot of promise to it.

Although PSG would proceed to dominate domestically for the next few seasons, with their only real hiccup being losing out on the Ligue 1 title to Lille in the 2020-21 season, they simply could not find a way through to UCL victory. 

Mbappe however, had continued to develop and establish himself as a superstar, and with 1 year left on his contract in the summer of 2021, guess who came calling again?

Perez, this time around, came even more prepared. $173 million is what the club president put onto the table, with add-ons pushing the offer up to $217 million. However, PSG went silent, and with Lionel Messi ultimately arriving in August after his shocking departure from Barcelona, Madrid’s offer was left on read.

Without signing a new deal, Mbappe went on to play another season with PSG, forming the MNM trio. They go on to take back the Ligue 1 trophy from Lille, but fall short in the domestic cups. Most importantly though, they get dumped from the UCL in the Round of 16 by none other than Real Madrid, who would go on to win the entire tournament. How ironic?

Madrid still have yet to give up, though. As the 2021-22 season winds down to a close, rumors wind up again of Mbappe to Madrid. Throughout the season, Mbappe continuously rejected extensions and at one point, it just seemed obvious that he was finally on his way out.

Not if PSG, Qatar and Macron - the President of France - have anything to say about it. Suddenly, a national movement begins to convince the player to extend, with the club’s offer on the table being $90 million annually for three seasons and another $135 million if he does decide to renew.

Against all odds, Mbappe said yes. Hours before PSG’s last matchday of the Ligue 1 season, they announced his extension. Prior to the match, President Nasser Al-Khelaifi presented Mbappe to the crowd, with none other than his jersey that reads “Mbappe 2025” on the back. Surely at this point the Madrid dream was over.

When this happened, many rumors began to unfold that Mbappe had suddenly been offered an insane amount of power in the club to convince him to resign. Memes began swirling, calling Mbappe PSG’s new sporting director. While the rumors were ultimately denied by their actual sporting director, what did remain true is that PSG promised the player a huge role within the club.

After all this is something most clubs do with their best player. Barcelona did it with Messi, Madrid with Ronaldo. Superstars have an obvious influence on them, so it makes sense why a club may want to run a possible signing or minor tactical change by them to not only keep them happy but also guarantee success.

Let’s just say that the supposed happiness wasn’t entirely visible throughout this past season. Coaching issues and rumored tension between Messi and Mbappe certainly didn’t help their cause, and neither did another long-term injury to Neymar that ruled him out of the second leg vs. Bayern in the UCL. Out they go again in the Round of 16.

Let’s be honest here. The whole point of this PSG project is to win a Champions League. Ligue 1 titles and cups mean little to nothing to Al-Khelaifi, as demonstrated by his sacking of head coach Crhistophe Galtier just days after title celebrations earlier this month.

Mbappe, better than anyone else, has to be well aware of the failures of this project. After all, the Frenchman would have won at least 2 UCL’s by now had he left for Madrid seasons ago.

Yet he still stays. Just for Madrid links to pick right back up again after the end of another average season for the club.

Remember that “Mbappe 2025” extension last year? Well, turns out that it was only a two-year renewal rather than three, and his contract his set to expire next summer. The 2025 part was just an option in the contract that Mbappe probably won’t activate. That’s a bit embarrassing on PSG’s part.

At this point, it’s hard to really read Mbappe’s mind anymore. Despite sending a letter to the club reaffirming his supposed desire to remain at PSG through 2024, the club is very much intent on not letting that happen. If he does stay and ultimately doesn’t renew, the club will lose him on a free transfer. A team of this caliber will never let such a thing slide, especially with such a sought-after player. 

That’s why they provided Mbappe with an ultimatum. 

“You sign a new deal, or we sell you now.”

Although Mbappe tweeted out that affirmation that we mentioned earlier, it’s hard to see this saga ending at that. With just over two months left in the transfer window, anything can still happen, and there isn’t any formal offer from Real Madrid yet. Time will once again have to tell whether that young child prodigy's dream will become reality.

That’s it for our first ever newsletter! 😅
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Julian Febres

Content Manager

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