Kylian Mbappe has once again started transfer speculation by informing PSG that he will not extend his contract with the club beyond next season. As a result, Les Parisiens have a big decision to make.
It is hard to not get a sense of Deja-vu with this news. Towards the end of the 2021/22 season, the prolific forward and the Ligue 1 side were at an identical crossroads.
However, back then, Kylian Mbappe resisted the urge to make a transfer elsewhere and instead signed an eye-watering new deal with PSG.
The three-year contract, which included a player option for the third year, would earn the Frenchman €250m. This U-turn in 2022 seemed a signal of intent from player and club that they wanted to build together towards European success.
But this has not been the case. Despite boasting a front three of Lionel Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar, PSG once again exited the Champions League in the round of 16. It now seems that this failure, amongst other disruptions, has seen Mbappe grow impatient.
The forward informed the Paris management of his decision to decline his player option via a letter on Monday. Unfortunately, Mbappe angered his current club by apparently revealing the letter to the media before PSG (per NY Times).
That does not change the outcome of said news, though. Mbappe’s contract with the Ligue 1 champions will now run out at the end of the 2023/24 season. So, what can PSG do?
PSG options for Kylian Mbappe: transfer, negotiate, or let him walk in 2024?
The board in Paris have numerous choices for their hometown icon – where all could be vital to the club’s future.
More than anything, though, PSG will want to avoid letting Kylian Mbappe leave for free next summer. Losing their star player, whilst receiving nothing in return, would be nothing short of a disaster.
It is hard to imagine the club’s owners allowing this scenario to happen. Also, per Fabrizio Romano, Paris executives have no intention of letting their top asset go for nothing.
First option: sell
Option one is to put their talisman up for sale. A transfer for Kylian Mbappe would surely command a world-record fee; we can’t imagine that they will be short of potential suitors, either. But this does come with a few separate issues.
If Mbappe goes, there will be a large portion of the fanbase (particularly globally) who will be extremely discontent. Additionally, it could present difficulties from a recruiting standpoint.
The allure of playing alongside Mbappe – as well as money – is a useful tool when convincing players to sign for PSG. Should the Frenchman exit, will Paris still have that kind of pull?
This, therefore, may make the second option more appealing.
Second option: convince him to sign a new contract
The club still has time to negotiate with their record scorer. PSG could use this summer to convince Mbappe to stay by re-tooling the squad to show that they can compete with the best in Europe.
However, PSG would be taking a massive risk with this method. If 2023/24 shows little sign of improvement, Mbappe will certainly not want to stay for many more seasons. So, Les Parisiens may see this saga repeat once more in a year, two years’ time.
Could they just do nothing this summer and see how the situation is in January? Yes, but this is not ideal. They will not get anywhere near the transfer fee they could have got right now for Mbappe. Also, other clubs may not pay at all, knowing that he will be available for nothing a few months later.
A transfer out of PSG is a certain possibility for Kylian Mbappe this summer. But how much could the Ligue 1 side get for their No.7?
How much a Kylian Mbappe transfer might cost
Predicting the potential value of a 24-year-old who is among the best football players about is difficult. Although one thing is for sure; Kylian Mbappe is surely worth a nine-digit fee once more.
The Frenchman moved from Monaco to PSG in a deal that was worth £160m+ in 2017. Since then, his stock has continued to rise as Mbappe has become one of the most electric forwards about.
In 2021, PSG rejected a €160m bid from Real Madrid for Mbappe. They will surely want at least this amount two years later.
Now the next question is: who could possibly afford him? Los Blancos are long-term admirers of Mbappe and will be desperate to sign him. Following Karim Benzema’s exit, the stars may have aligned for Real and Mbappe to join forces.
Elsewhere, certain Premier League clubs may fancy their chances at convincing Mbappe to move. Chelsea and Man City have the finances, yet have their reasons for not trying to get him, too.
Who knows? Maybe Man United – if they get their new owners – could plot a move.
PSG and Kylian Mbappe are set for a busy summer of transfer rumours and negotiations.
Featured image credit: Getty