Kylian Mbappe: Real Madrid make €160m transfer offer for PSG forward
The French club are considering the proposal, and there is a feeling this is mostly a signal of intent from Madrid, but sources close to the player were insistent on Tuesday night that the deal is likelier to happen than not in this window. The Independent has been told that Mbappe now wants to leave, preferably this window.
The 22-year-old only has a year left on his contract and has rejected three new contract offers from PSG. That would create a huge rush for one of the most valuable free transfers in history next summer, but it now appears Madrid are attempting to get ahead of the game in what would be a huge marker for La Liga as well as the club.
The Bernabeu hierarchy have been one of many badly hit by Covid, especially as they refurbish the stadium. They have nevertheless been reshaping their finances so they are in a position to go back in for a traditional "Galactico" signing.
There have been no major purchases since 2019, and a number of big earners have been shed from the wage bill, including Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos.
Many have long said it is Perez's latest "dream" to unite Mbappe and Erling Haaland at the club from 2022, but the French international is by far the number-one target. It would naturally aid that if Mbappe arrived on a free, which is why many in France are waiting to see whether this is really just a "first offer" - as has been leaked to the Spanish press. There had been a feeling this could be an attempt to show the player just how much they want him ahead of a potential frenzy for his signature in January, but repeated sources say that isn’t the case.
On the other side, Madrid are known to be Mbappe's first choice due to the historic glamour of the club and his wish to succeed Cristiano Ronaldo. Undoubtedly prompting the move, however, is the willingness of the player’s camp to listen to other approaches.
There have long been reports of Liverpool's interest, but Madrid could well blow everyone out of the water.
The club see this as a good time to re-establish their superiority in Spain, amid an ongoing crisis at Barcelona. That situation has seen Lionel Messi leave for PSG, which may yet prove influential in Mbappe's departure.