ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Explained: The Kylian Mbappe Saga – Why Is the Superstar at War With His Club?

Exceptionally decorated at 24, football icon Kylian Mbappe finds himself engulfed in an infuriating transfer saga.

Updated
Football
4 min read
story-hero-img
i
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large

For football fans, Kylian Mbappe embodies a plethora of exemplary achievements. A FIFA World Cup winner, a World Cup Golden Boot winner, a six-time French top-flight champion, and recently, the captain of the France national team. All of this, at the tender age of 24.

For those who are not into the sport, Kylian Mbappe could be reduced to a name – one that has been unceasingly doing rounds in the news updates since last month, and will be doing so for three more weeks.

Why?

Very briefly – because Mbappe has found himself in what is perhaps an infuriatingly long-drawn-out transfer saga, but once we arrive at its conclusion, it could turn into an epic footballing tale.

But, the situation is incredibly more complex than one can fathom. Grab yourself a snack, as we explain all that you need to know about the Kylian Mbappe transfer saga.

Explained: The Kylian Mbappe Saga – Why Is the Superstar at War With His Club?

  1. 1. Give Me a Concise Synopsis of the Saga

    Being one of football’s more gifted players currently, it is justifiable that Mbappe is also one of the more sought-after players. The battle for his signature is an annual occurrence, except that this time around, the drama has escalated to unprecedented proportions.

    Mbappe presently represents defending French champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), and has been doing so for the last six years. After his initial contract expired in 2022, the winger signed a two-year extension, which will see him playing for the Parisiens till the end of next season.

    However, he is unwilling to extend his association with the club beyond the 2023/24 season, whilst on the flip side, PSG’s Qatari owners are determined of not letting their most prized asset leave for free. Hence, we are seeing a nonpareil deadlock.
    Expand
  2. 2. Why Are Kylian Mbappe and PSG at Crossroads Now, and How Does Real Madrid Play a Part?

    In the Mbappe saga, there are not two, but three players – the thaumaturge himself, his current club – Paris Saint-Germain, and a team that has been long associated with Mbappe, albeit never in any official capacity – Spain’s Real Madrid.

    When Mbappe first arrived in the Paris club, on loan from AS Monaco in 2017, PSG had to win a gruelling transfer battle against Los Blancos, with scout Luis Ferrer admitting the club had to work ‘twice as hard as Real Madrid’ to convince the then 18-year-old about PSG’s project.

    The loan move was converted into a permanent deal for a reported transfer fee of €180 million, which still remains the highest sum paid for a teenager in football.

    From the 2017/18 to the 2021/22 season, there was comparative calmness in the saga. Mbappe transitioned from being a wunderkind to a global superstar, whilst also becoming a national icon in France. Barring the elusive UEFA Champions League, Mbappe won nearly everything he possibly could.

    Yet, when his initial contract expired at the end of the 21/22 season, the saga extended into its second instalment. Real Madrid arrived at the scene again, and with more convincing power than the previous instance, having just won the European crown.

    Then, there was another arrival. A rather unexpected one.

    Sensing the country’s most popular sporting talent is about to leave for Spain, the French president, Emmanuel Macron personally requested Mbappe to remain at PSG. “Of course, when the president says that to you, it counts,” the player explained to the New York Times.

    PSG eventually won the race in May 2022, securing the player’s services for another couple of years, with Mbappe earning a humongous £100 million signing-on fee, and a monthly wage of £4 million.

    But a season later, and now with only one year left on his contract, Mbappe has decided not to extend his stay at the club beyond the upcoming season. The same was formally conveyed to the club through an official letter back in June – an act that left the PSG management understandably exasperated.

    Expand
  3. 3. How Did the Matter Escalate?

    Whilst the rift was evident since June, it escalated a few weeks ago, when PSG decided not to bring Mbappe to the pre-season tour of Japan and South Korea – effectively ostracising him from the squad.

    There were also reports of PSG contemplating keeping Mbappe out of the squad for the entire season if he does not extend his contract, or agree to a transfer this season. Yet, the proposition falls flat on the grounds of reality, with the rulebook claiming that such a stance will be approved only for breaking disciplinary boundaries.

    Expand
  4. 4. So, Who Takes the Blame?

    Paris Saint-Germain, for there is no fault of Mbappe in this saga. The club’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been very vocal, claiming “We cannot let the best player in the world right now leave for free. That is impossible.”

    Albeit, PSG lack leverage, with Mbappe having the right to walk away from the club after a year. Moreover, should he be forced to train away from the first-team squad, PSG could also face legal action for the wrongful ostracisation of an employee.

    Expand
  5. 5. Where Do You Think Will Mbappe Go To?

    From the looks of it, and according to PSG’s beliefs, Mbappe has his heart set on signing for Real Madrid – at the third time of asking. In a viral video, Los Blancos’ president is seen informing a fan about his intention to sign Mbappe in the next season.

    There have been interested parties from elsewhere, most notably from Saudi Arabia. Al-Hilal, who is owned by the state-funded Public Investment Fund, offered PSG €300 million for signing Mbappe, whilst also subsequently offering the player a yearly wage of €700 million.

    The gargantuan bid was accepted by PSG, whilst the yearly wage was enormous enough for NBA stars like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo to offer their services to Saudi Arabia.

    Mbappe, however, chose not to entertain the Middle Eastern interest.

    Expand
  6. 6. Why Are Real Madrid Not Putting an End to the Saga by Signing Mbappe?

    For two simple reasons. Firstly – they are not obligated to play the role of saviours (or party spoilers, depending on your perspective) by putting an end to the saga.

    Secondly – having already signed English midfielder Jude Bellingham for a hefty fee, and with expenditures being minutely scrutinised by La Liga authorities, there is no reason for Real Madrid to invite unwanted trouble by chasing a second mega-money deal.

    But given how this saga has unfolded, do expect the unexpected.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

Give Me a Concise Synopsis of the Saga

Being one of football’s more gifted players currently, it is justifiable that Mbappe is also one of the more sought-after players. The battle for his signature is an annual occurrence, except that this time around, the drama has escalated to unprecedented proportions.

Mbappe presently represents defending French champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), and has been doing so for the last six years. After his initial contract expired in 2022, the winger signed a two-year extension, which will see him playing for the Parisiens till the end of next season.

However, he is unwilling to extend his association with the club beyond the 2023/24 season, whilst on the flip side, PSG’s Qatari owners are determined of not letting their most prized asset leave for free. Hence, we are seeing a nonpareil deadlock.
ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Why Are Kylian Mbappe and PSG at Crossroads Now, and How Does Real Madrid Play a Part?

In the Mbappe saga, there are not two, but three players – the thaumaturge himself, his current club – Paris Saint-Germain, and a team that has been long associated with Mbappe, albeit never in any official capacity – Spain’s Real Madrid.

When Mbappe first arrived in the Paris club, on loan from AS Monaco in 2017, PSG had to win a gruelling transfer battle against Los Blancos, with scout Luis Ferrer admitting the club had to work ‘twice as hard as Real Madrid’ to convince the then 18-year-old about PSG’s project.

The loan move was converted into a permanent deal for a reported transfer fee of €180 million, which still remains the highest sum paid for a teenager in football.

From the 2017/18 to the 2021/22 season, there was comparative calmness in the saga. Mbappe transitioned from being a wunderkind to a global superstar, whilst also becoming a national icon in France. Barring the elusive UEFA Champions League, Mbappe won nearly everything he possibly could.

Yet, when his initial contract expired at the end of the 21/22 season, the saga extended into its second instalment. Real Madrid arrived at the scene again, and with more convincing power than the previous instance, having just won the European crown.

Then, there was another arrival. A rather unexpected one.

Sensing the country’s most popular sporting talent is about to leave for Spain, the French president, Emmanuel Macron personally requested Mbappe to remain at PSG. “Of course, when the president says that to you, it counts,” the player explained to the New York Times.

PSG eventually won the race in May 2022, securing the player’s services for another couple of years, with Mbappe earning a humongous £100 million signing-on fee, and a monthly wage of £4 million.

But a season later, and now with only one year left on his contract, Mbappe has decided not to extend his stay at the club beyond the upcoming season. The same was formally conveyed to the club through an official letter back in June – an act that left the PSG management understandably exasperated.

How Did the Matter Escalate?

Whilst the rift was evident since June, it escalated a few weeks ago, when PSG decided not to bring Mbappe to the pre-season tour of Japan and South Korea – effectively ostracising him from the squad.

There were also reports of PSG contemplating keeping Mbappe out of the squad for the entire season if he does not extend his contract, or agree to a transfer this season. Yet, the proposition falls flat on the grounds of reality, with the rulebook claiming that such a stance will be approved only for breaking disciplinary boundaries.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

So, Who Takes the Blame?

Paris Saint-Germain, for there is no fault of Mbappe in this saga. The club’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been very vocal, claiming “We cannot let the best player in the world right now leave for free. That is impossible.”

Albeit, PSG lack leverage, with Mbappe having the right to walk away from the club after a year. Moreover, should he be forced to train away from the first-team squad, PSG could also face legal action for the wrongful ostracisation of an employee.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Where Do You Think Will Mbappe Go To?

From the looks of it, and according to PSG’s beliefs, Mbappe has his heart set on signing for Real Madrid – at the third time of asking. In a viral video, Los Blancos’ president is seen informing a fan about his intention to sign Mbappe in the next season.

There have been interested parties from elsewhere, most notably from Saudi Arabia. Al-Hilal, who is owned by the state-funded Public Investment Fund, offered PSG €300 million for signing Mbappe, whilst also subsequently offering the player a yearly wage of €700 million.

The gargantuan bid was accepted by PSG, whilst the yearly wage was enormous enough for NBA stars like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo to offer their services to Saudi Arabia.

Mbappe, however, chose not to entertain the Middle Eastern interest.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Why Are Real Madrid Not Putting an End to the Saga by Signing Mbappe?

For two simple reasons. Firstly – they are not obligated to play the role of saviours (or party spoilers, depending on your perspective) by putting an end to the saga.

Secondly – having already signed English midfielder Jude Bellingham for a hefty fee, and with expenditures being minutely scrutinised by La Liga authorities, there is no reason for Real Madrid to invite unwanted trouble by chasing a second mega-money deal.

But given how this saga has unfolded, do expect the unexpected.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Published: 
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More
×
×