Surely Kylian Mbappe didn’t plan to start an all-out war between La Liga and Paris Saint-Germain after he put pen to paper on his stunning new contract but, bizarrely, that’s exactly what happened. Neither side is backing down either.
The attacker’s shadow hangs over the city. Posters and murals of the superstar striker are everywhere, and fans still bask in their club’s bold attempt to tie up their talisman on new terms, despite his intention to leave.
He’s one of their favorites for a reason. He grew up in Bondy, a suburb of the capital and, after having a stunning breakthrough in Monaco, settled in the Parc des Princes and quickly set out to pursue his lofty ambitions.
Kylian Mbappé risks frustrating his teammates after signing a new mega-contract with PSG
The striker has decided to commit his future to his current club despite interest from Real Madrid
Mbappe arrived as the most expensive teenager of all time and, at just 23, has already won the World Cup, four Ligue 1 titles and three French cups. So it’s no surprise that his club are desperate to keep him, against all odds.
For much of the saga, Real Madrid were convinced they would sign him, but ultimately came up short. The ace turned down a number of contract offers at his current side but later changed his mind and signed a new three-year £650,000-a-week contract.
Having almost certainly made Mbappe the highest paid player in football, PSG have pledged to back him. However, they dug deep into their coffers to do so and will now want their investment repaid in full.
Ahead of PSG’s final game of the season, the leader was paraded onto the pitch by President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who couldn’t change the big smile on his face for most of it. He has, after all, brought his prized possession back from the brink.
Mbappe staying at Parc des Princes considered a coup but will cause its own problems
Before the clock reached 50 minutes, Mbappe had completed his hat trick. He will guarantee explosive goals and bits of magic, and that’s why he found himself in the middle of an incredible tussle between two of the biggest clubs in the world.
But there are some who will believe his new deal is simply a disaster in waiting, and they may be right. Even the build-up to the unveiling, a stretch dating back to Euro 2020, has been littered with uncertainty.
Along the way, Mbappe’s confidence plummeted.
The striker is said to have been planning to dazzle the international showpiece to send his value skyrocketing which would then allow him to sign improved terms with PSG.
The leader (pictured at the Cannes festival) is probably the highest paid player in the world
But his supposed ploy didn’t go to plan, after failing to score a goal and missing the decisive penalty that sent France crashing into the last 16. When he returned to the club for the first game of the season, he was mocked by his own fans.
This public display of disapproval was perhaps due to his disappointment on the big stage, and also his refusal to sign an extension. The hype continued in the media and suddenly Mbappe looked like he had the world on his shoulders.
He has since returned to top form, but the ramifications of his new contract are likely to send shockwaves through the rest of the PSG squad. They have a number of big earners, all of which have been usurped, and that doesn’t make for a happy camp.
Lionel Messi, for example, earns £25million a year, but his team-mate has surpassed that remarkable figure. Mbappe also appears to have been placed firmly at the heart of the project, despite Messi’s status as perhaps the greatest player of all time.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi has invested significant resources to keep Mbappe, against all odds
The two players are believed to have a good relationship, but it’s been reported that Mbappe was initially left baffled by Messi’s arrival and all the resulting media attention. With a little more care and attention, this issue was easily resolved.
It’s no secret that Messi has struggled since leaving Barcelona, an exit that was forced on him against his will. On the other side, Neymar has also endured his own problems, and reports suggest the club might be happy to let him go.
A delicate situation, therefore, and made even more unstable with Mbappe’s lucrative extension. On paper, they’re the best front-three in the history of the sport, but when broken down individually, there are issues lurking beneath each of them.
The expansion’s optics have also been questionable.
But the deal risks angering Lionel Messi and Neymar, who could play second fiddle
For example, earlier this week it was claimed that Mbappe wanted to see 14 people leave PSG this summer in a brutal massacre, including Mauricio Pochettino. The scale of this cleanup is unprecedented, but the attacker now wields considerable influence.
He was also reportedly keen on eliminating other key members of the squad including Mauro Icardi, Ander Herrera, Julian Draxler, Idrissa Gueye and Leandro Paredes. Danilo Pereira, Layvin Kurzawa, Pablo Sarabia and others were also on the chopping block.
Just days after opening an exciting new chapter at the club, Mbappe was forced to take to social media to dismiss the reports as ‘false’. Getting ahead of a story is a wise move for any player, but the fact that they were forced to do so doesn’t look good at all.
Al-Khelaifi, who has devoted so much time and resources to ensuring the mercurial magician stays put this summer, will be desperate for him to spend trivial things and speak where it matters most – on the pitch.
Mbappe recently took to social media to slam claims he wants a PSG exodus as ‘false’
But seething is the previously mentioned row between LaLiga and PSG. Top-flight chief Javier Tebas posted a tweet targeting the club for the staggering numbers involved in the deal, and described it as an “insult to football”.
He said: “What PSG are doing by renewing Mbappe for a huge sum of money (who knows where and how it will be paid for) after announcing losses of 700 million euros in recent seasons and a charge salary of 600 million euros is an INSULT to football.
‘Al-Khelafi [sic] is as dangerous as the Super League.
Athletic say PSG are furious with the public manner of the criticism, despite La Liga itself having announced they will file a complaint against PSG.
Javier Tebas has been scathing about the Ligue 1 side’s decision to embark on star retention
They said: “On Kylian Mbappe’s possible announcement to stay at PSG, LaLiga would like to declare that this type of agreement undermines the economic stability of European football, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk and the integrity of sport, not only in European competitions, but also in national leagues.
Again, similarly to Tebas, they pointed to the club’s losses and said it was ‘scandalous’ that they could ‘achieve such a deal’.
“La Liga will file a complaint against PSG before UEFA, the French administrative court and the tax authorities and the authorities of the European Union to continue to defend the economic ecosystem of European football and its sustainability”, they continued. .
PSG fans won’t mind at all, of course. They threw their weight behind Mbappe for his three-goal exploits against Metz in their season finale, and will continue to do so as long as he remains committed to their quest for success.
Florentino Perez’s insistence Madrid forgot about Mbappe just isn’t the case
The atmosphere on the pitch is notorious for turning hostile towards players whom the fan base sees as underweight, so it’s up to him to prevent that from happening to him. He has the ability to do that, but earning more trophies is a must.
All in all, it’s a gamble for every party involved. For the club, this is a real statement and underlines their desperation to finally win the Champions League. For Mbappe, he turned down the club that just won that coveted trophy.
And in football, big bets tend to err dramatically.
Recently, Florentino Perez said that for Madrid, Mbappe is already forgotten. Judging by the storm building up above our heads, that’s just not the case.