Kylian Mbappe has thrown his future into doubt by continuing to resist signing a new deal at Paris Saint-Germain.
In fact, the chances of the superstar forward now staying at PSG are rated only 50/50 with Mbappe having just 15 months left on his current contract.
PSG have been trying to tie the 22 year-old down to a new deal for more than a year but, unlike with Neymar who is also out of contract in June 2022, talks have not progressed.
It has reached a stage where there is genuine concern that Mbappe wants to leave PSG this summer. In January, the World Cup winner said he was “thinking very hard” about his future and, it is understood, the uncertainty brought about by the Covid pandemic has meant that continues to be the case.
If Mbappe was made available for transfer there would be an extraordinary scramble to try to sign him by Europe’s leading clubs at a time when the focus has been on another brilliant young attacker, Erling Haaland.
PSG remain hopeful Mbappe will eventually decide to stay but are currently far more optimistic that they will be able to soon announce a long-term contract with Neymar, who has recently turned 29 and would therefore probably see out the remainder of his career in Paris.
There is no doubt that, two summers ago and urged by Lionel Messi, Neymar agitated for a return to Barcelona and at that time PSG were torn given the worries over his contribution to the team and whether he was giving enough. Those concerns evaporated in the run to the Champions League Final last season and while this has been a difficult campaign, PSG believe the Brazilian remains committed to the cause and has emerged as a leader of the team.
Despite being a PSG fan, Mbappe has made no secret of the fact that he may eventually play elsewhere and there is concern that he has become distracted. Mbappe joined PSG from Monaco in 2017 for £166 million, after an initial season-long loan, in the same summer that Neymar was signed for a world record fee of £192m. PSG would expect a fee significantly in excess of €100m (£87m) for Mbappe, even though he is going into the final year of his contract at the end of this season and the financial problems caused by Covid.
Mbappe starred in PSG’s 3-2 win away to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, scoring twice. But his form has been inconsistent this season and he has not regularly reached the heights he is capable of with some indifferent performances, especially in Ligue 1 matches with PSG having a fight on their hands to retain the French title.
The three scenarios for Mbappe and PSG
1. Signs a new long-term contract
PSG want Mbappe to agree a five-year deal with an improved salary and have, as with Neymar, tried to budget for this over the past year. They have been less active in the transfer market, with the onus on keeping their two biggest stars, and have continually distanced themselves from moves for other star players. However, finances have become more difficult, as with all clubs, and this has affected contract renewals. Players may not be able to receive the size of deal they once expected.
2. Renews for one or two years
This would be a compromise situation with Mbappe agreeing to extend, with a pay increase, but not for the length of contract that PSG would wish. However, it would strengthen the club’s position should Mbappe be sold in the future when, hopefully, the finances of the clubs who would be interested in signing him have improved. Even so, if he signs a shorter deal it would send out the signal that Mbappe is perhaps not fully committed to PSG. It would certainly be unusual to extend for one season or two more given his age and importance.
3. He leaves
PSG have been hopeful that Mbappe would sign and although sporting director Leonardo said after the Bayern win. “I think we’ll have some news that will make us all happy soon”, it appears that was referring more to the chances of Neymar’s new contract being announced. PSG do not want to sell Mbappe and may even allow him to go into the final year of his deal if they do not get a big enough offer for him this summer. Everyone knows the transfer market is difficult but the links to Real Madrid are longstanding and Mbappe has spoken about his admiration for Liverpool. If Mbappe was to come on the market though, there would be a number of interested clubs and PSG – given the Covid problems – may be willing to do a realistic deal where the fee is deferred over a number of years rather than paid in full, as they may previously have demanded from one of their big European rivals.
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