Kylian Mbappe, the teenage sensation who grew up with Real Madrid posters adorning his walls, appears to be on the verge of completing his dream transfer.
The Paris Saint-Germain player is the most expensive adolescent in the sport’s history, having won the World Cup in his 20th year and claiming the throne of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best in the world.
It’s already widely assumed that he’ll switch teams in the summer, leaving France’s capital for Spain and the white shirt of Real Madrid.
The most astounding aspect of all is Mbappe’s decision to sign for a nine-figure fee while also being set to depart PSG on a free transfer.
Why is Mbappe leaving PSG?
What went so wrong in Paris? Following a dismal league season in 2016/17, the capital club shelled out on Barcelona’s Neymar Jr., while also loaning Mbappe with the intention of making the trade permanent the following summer.
This was meant to be a declaration of purpose, announcing PSG’s intention to join the continental heavyweights. Les Rouge-et-Bleu are unquestionably domestic heavyweights, yet they have never developed into true super-clubs.
Since Unai Emery was ousted by Thomas Tuchel and subsequently Mauricio Pochettino, PSG has been on the rise. In 2020, they reached the Champions League semi-finals and finished second, but the verdict on PSG at the top level is still out.
The club’s decision-making has been questioned, with director Leonardo’s relationship with Tuchel notoriously tumultuous. The perception that PSG is a collection of people rather than a unit has persisted, as have questions about the level of professionalism.
Leaving aside the chatter, the impact of the star-focused recruitment policy can be seen on the field. While Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe form an excellent attacking trio, they also make it difficult for a coach like Pochettino to master his press. Simply put, PSG took far too long to improve.
Mbappe has reached the point in his career where he should be aiming to secure his place as the top player on the planet. That means playing for a club that expects to compete for the Champions League every season. As things stand, PSG aren’t quite there yet.
The fact that they aren’t even the reigning French champions, having lost eight games to finish a point behind Lille last season, further adds to this. PSG hasn’t done enough to persuade Mbappe that his future lies with them, despite having superb players.
Furthermore, the question of whether he can win a Ballon d’Or while playing alongside two other worldwide giants – a problem that afflicted Neymar at Barcelona – is a concern. Of course, for the French striker, this transfer would be a heartfelt one, as it would allow him to realize a childhood dream of joining the world’s most famous club.
How much did Real Madrid bid for Mbappe?
Real Madrid has reportedly been courting the teenage forward for some time. Several high-profile sales have led to this point, with money in Mbappe’s bank account.
According to ESPN, president Florentino Perez went so far as to make a $225 million proposal for Mbappe last summer, despite the fact that he only had a year left on his contract. PSG turned down the offer, allowing him to walk away for free.
What will Mbappe’s Real Madrid salary be?
Of course, in soccer, there is no such thing as ‘free.’ Loyalty bonuses, signing-on fees, appearances bonuses, and so on have replaced multimillion-dollar transfer fees. Of course, a large pay is at the top of that list.
Madrid has already made an offer to Mbappe of $57 million a year, or $1.1 million per week, according to the German newspaper Bild. This would more than quadruple his present pay at PSG.
What are Mbappe’s qualities and key stats?
Mbappe has drawn comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry, both in terms of style of play and potential level. It’s no surprise that he’s being compared to complete forwards, players who have everything.
Mbappe, first and foremost, is a brilliant goalscorer and a very powerful creative force, having contributed to 170 goals in Ligue 1 (51 assists and 119 goals of his own) in as many games.
In addition to leading the way in France, the former Monaco man is ranked third in Europe for Champions League goals (19) since the 2018/19 season. Mbappe is one of just four players in history to score multiple hat-tricks in the Champions League, and the only one to record three hat-tricks in Ligue 1.
He’s quick, having taken more shots from fast breaks (15) than any other player in the Champions League over the last four seasons. In domestic soccer, he’s converted 50% of fast break shots (44) into goals over the same time frame. He’s a tremendous threat to any team trying to play a high line because of his speed and directness.