The Kylian Mbappé saga: pride over big bucks

The struggle over Mbappé's signature between PSG and Real Madrid has dominated headlines for the past few weeks with a momentous clash between Florentino Perez and his PSG counterpart, Al-Khelaïfi. Looking at the bid purely from a financial standpoint, Real Madrid were prepared to spend 200 million euro on the player who is a free-agent as of 30 June next year with the Parisian side turning down this tidy sum of money. Rather bizarre for a striker who can walk away from the French side come next summer. Obviously, there is more than meets the eye here and posturing and the symbolism for the French club of retaining one of Europe's most exciting talents was deemed to be more important than a 200 million euro injection.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE 1-PARIS-NANTESParis Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe looks on during the French L1 football match between PSG and Nantes at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on March 14, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Signing statement

An Mbappé acquisition would have put Real Madrid back in the global spotlight and condemn PSG as a destination for players reaching their peak, with both Messi and Ramos hooking up with Neymar who has really failed to deliver the promise in the French capital. At the age of 22, Kylian Mbappé bucks this trend, a player with his full career ahead of him and a hugely talented footballer full of ambition. Signing the striker would have seen Real Madrid evoke past glories when the likes of Figo-Zidane-Ronaldo-Beckham dominated global headlines. His arrival would have also been a feather n the cap of the old-guard against the emergence of the Qatari backed French club or París-Saint-Qatar as they've been called by Jorge Valdano.

Stade Rennais v FC Sevilla: Group E - UEFA Champions LeagueRENNES, FRANCE - DECEMBER 08: Eduardo Camavinga of Stade Rennais in action during the UEFA Champions League Group E stage match between Stade Rennais and Sevilla FC at Roazhon Park on December 08, 2020 in Rennes, France. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

June 2022

In the end, it wasn't to be and PSG are in a unique position to be able to turn down 200 million euro for a player who will be a free agent next summer. Madrid put their money where their mouth was with many observers feeling their huge bid was very short-term but also realise that there were other factors at play in the attempt to sign the forward. The club are keen to recover that global dominance they once enjoyed and have been frustrated that the likes of Bale, Hazard or Benzema have failed to help them recover that profile. In the end the club did sign Camavinga, a fine central player and one who will compliment Ancelotti's squad but in terms of Mbappé, it's a question of 'we'll meet again" for the striker and Real Madrid.