EletiofeReports: Kylian Mbappé strongly leaning toward leaving PSG for...

Reports: Kylian Mbappé strongly leaning toward leaving PSG for Real Madrid this summer

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Jason Owens

Henry Bushnell

Kylian Mbappé is reportedly leaning toward signing with Real Madrid. (Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappé is reportedly leaning toward signing with Real Madrid. (Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappé is strongly leaning toward leaving Paris Saint-Germain for Real Madrid at the end of his contract this summer, ESPN and Le Parisian reported on Saturday.

Mbappé hasn’t yet agreed to a deal with Real, per the reports, but people close to the situation believe that he has made his decision; he will move to Spain.

Mbappé’s current PSG contract, signed in 2022, expires in June, at which point he’ll become a free agent. Ever since Jan. 1, he has been free to negotiate and sign a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid or any other club.

He has stewed on the decision, even as officials at Real and PSG got antsy. But reports emerged this week that he would announce his choice soon.

Saturday’s reports, therefore, are either a sign that an announcement is coming — that Mbappé has nearly agreed to join Real Madrid — or a bargaining ploy. If it’s public knowledge that Mbappé wants to join Real, pressure could shift onto the Spanish club to meet his demands in contract negotiations. And those negotiations, it seems, are ongoing.

According to various reports last month, PSG has offered Mbappé two things that Real Madrid has not: a higher salary and a chance to play at the 2024 Paris Olympics. It’s unclear how important money is to Mbappé; it is very clear, though, that the Olympics are important, perhaps even a dealbreaker.

“The Games in Paris … mean the world to me,” Mbappé said last month in a TV interview. “The idea of competing at the Games with France would be an extraordinary opportunity — it’s actually more of a dream.”

FIFA rules, though, don’t require clubs to release their players to national teams for the Olympics, where men’s soccer is a mostly-under-23 competition. Most clubs don’t, because the Olympics conflict with preseasons and even the start of some European seasons in August. Real Madrid could theoretically bar Mbappé from the Olympics — unless his new contract includes a clause that guarantees his release, an agreement similar to the one he currently has with PSG.

Mbappé is reportedly negotiating for such an agreement, and perhaps for other terms. So, until Real Madrid announces his impending arrival — or at least until Madrid-based newspapers report that agreements have been reached — he could still change his mind. He has not informed Real Madrid nor PSG of any decision, according to Saturday’s reports. He could still make something of a U-turn, as he did in 2022 when facing a similar situation.

But it appear now that the 25-year-old French forward, soccer’s most coveted player, a Real fan ever since he was a boy, has his heart set on Madrid.

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