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Rothen: "Sources told me Mbappé to Real Madrid was almost a done deal"

Former PSG player Jérôme Rothen has claimed that Real Madrid were on the cusp of striking a deal with Mbappé but the coronavirus crisis has set the operation back.

Rothen: "Sources told me Mbappé to Real Madrid was almost a done deal"
FRANCK FIFE AFP

Kylian Mbappé continues to slip through Real Madrid's fingers. The French striker escaped Florentino and Zidane in 2017. Gareth Bale, who José Mourinho tried to entice to Old Trafford, ended up staying and that meant there was no room for Mbappé at Madrid. The young forward joined PSG instead for or 180 million euros. After numerous approaches this year, Madrid were very close to getting their man but the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has scuppered Zidane's plans this time. At least that is the version which former PSG player Jérôme Rothen, who has very good connections at the Parisien club, explained to Radio Montecarlo this weekend. “I know from club sources that a deal to take Kylian Mbappé to Real Madrid was almost done. But with what has been happening, I'm sure that Mbappé's arrival at Real Madrid will be postponed”.

Mbappé 2021

The possibility of a one-year wait for Mbappé was reported by AS back on 7 April. The coronavirus crisis, which is hitting clubs' finances hard, has forced Madrid to reassess their transfer strategy and as a result, Operation Mbappé, the most ambitious which the club has in mind for the next few years, has been put on hold until after the 2020-21 season. Madrid are hoping that the France international decides not to renew his contract with PSG, which will expire in 2022. So far the player is keeping to the plan and in Paris, they are fully aware that they have just another year to enjoy Mbappé's qualities. “There is no way that Mbappé will extend his contract with PSG. They will have an agreement between them in place because PSG agreed to let him go this summer. In my opinion, it's just  question of time,” Rothen added.

The player's determination not to sign a new contract is they key to let PSG know that within the next 12 months, they have no choice but to negotiate his departure. In 2022, Mbappé will be able to leave for the club of his choice and demand a huge salary - something which isn't in either club's interest. The relationship between Madrid and PSG, by the way, is excellent. According to Rothen's surprising declarations, Madrid are practically assured of landing Mbappé. He hasn't been far off the mark in the past - in March last year, Rothen said: “What I can say, from a reliable source, is that Griezmann will go to Barcelona next summer”. A few months later, Grizzi joined the azulgranas…