Kylian Mbappe: France star tells Paris Saint-Germain he plans to leave in the summer

Striker, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, has already scored 31 goals this season

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Kylian Mbappe has told Paris Saint-Germain he plans to leave the club at the end of the season, according to multiple reports on Thursday night.

The 25-year-old's contract with the Qatar-owned Ligue 1 champions is set to expire, and for several years now he has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Mbappe's future was the subject of intense speculation last summer, with both Madrid and Saudi Pro League leaders Al Hilal showing a strong interest in signing the France international.

The situation saw Mbappe banished from the first-team picture at PSG and also removed from their pre-season tour of Asia.

But an agreement between PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi and Mbappe saw him reintegrated into the squad, and he has scored 31 goals in 30 appearances so far this season, including the opener in Wednesday night's 2-0 Champions League victory over Real Sociedad.

Mbappe is reported to have rejected a one-year extension option in his contract, opening the door to a summer exit. He is thought to still be negotiating the terms of his departure.

PSG currently sit 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 having shifted their transfer strategy under coach Luis Enrique.

Whereas they were previously in the market for the highest profile star players, they are now seemingly more focused on recruiting the cream of French talent and players with high potential. Both Lionel Messi and Neymar left the club last summer.

What's next for Mbappe?

The answer to that question has long been thought to be Real Madrid. Mbappe has been the absolute top target of Real president Florentino Perez for a number of years now and came close to joining them in 2022 before a late U-turn.

Reports in Spain, particularly from the outlets aligned with Los Blancos, suggest they are very confident of getting a deal done.

However, an agreement is yet to be finalised, leaving the door slightly ajar for any other potential suitors. Thursday's news is likely to have had a few Premier League club chairmen and chief executives putting in calls to accountants, exploring whether such a lavish move could be pulled off.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's group has taken charge of recruitment at Old Trafford and could they be looking for a splashy statement signing to supercharge the early part of their tenure? Chelsea, meanwhile, have shown time and again that if a talented player is available then they are likely to try to sign him.

Mbappe was also the subject of a huge bid by Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal in the summer, and you'd think if there was even a microscopic chance of luring him to the kingdom then another enormously lucrative financial package would be forthcoming.

All that said, should Mbappe indeed leave Paris this summer, it would be a genuine shock if he landed anywhere other than the Santiago Bernabeu.

What's next for PSG?

Mbappe's exit would bring an end to his seven-year stay at the club following a €180 million transfer from Monaco in 2017 – it might also help cement PSG's move away from a long-standing strategy of packing their squad with established world stars.

Under Qatari ownership, PSG have at times resembled some sort of 'World XI', and while it has brought domestic success aplenty, they have failed to achieve their stated aim of winning the Champions League.

Some of the biggest names in world football have been through their doors – Messi and Neymar among them – but they have now chosen to go down a different path.

While PSG still have no problem paying large fees for elite players – France internationals Ousmane Dembele and Randal Kolo Muani cost a combined €145 million – the faith shown in youngsters such as Warren Zaire-Emery, Manuel Ugarte, Kang-in Lee and Bradley Barcola points to a new approach under Enrique.

Xavi Simons, currently on loan at RB Leipzig, should have a significant role next season, while Mbappe's departure would surely lead to a recruitment drive in forward areas.

Victor Osimhen, the 25-year-old Nigerian striker who previously excelled in France with Lille, is a name already being mentioned, as is his Napoli teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. AC Milan's Rafael Leao is another potential target.

The Parisians will certainly have an enhanced budget to work with should they shed Mbappe from their wage bill. The 2018 World Cup winner is thought to earn €200m per year at the Parc des Princes.

Updated: February 16, 2024, 4:47 AM