REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Kylian Mbappé clock is ticking for PSG

Los Blancos are confident in the French player holding firm, but PSG have four months to make him change his mind before a signature is made.

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"The lad wants to leave, but PSG now have time to convince him to stay.”

This is how someone who has been directly involved in the transfer talks of Kylian Mbappé has summed up the situation around the player for AS. For Real Madrid the operation to bring in the French star has been a long-distance race, with the finish line now set for 1 January 2022 (it’s been in the planning for two years), for Paris Saint-Germain it is now the start of a sprint, one that will last just four months.

Mbappé: four key months in Paris

Optimism in the north of the Spanish capital is founded on the ample evidence Mbappé has shown that he is determined in his intention to play for the club. This was shown most recently with yet another refusal to sign an extension from the Qatari backed Parisiens, an offer that would have seen him earn 45 million euros net per season, and making him the highest paid player on the planet.

It was some statement, and Mbappé has valued Madrid’s actions over the months as they have pushed to make the move become a reality sooner with huge transfer fees considering the contract edging into its final year. Putting a reported 200 million on the table before the transfer market closed must have been hard to turn down by the Ligue 1 giants but, much like the player they are desperate to keep, sticking to their guns is worth more.

But when it comes to PSG, that optimism should be tempered. They are going to use all the weapons at their disposal to renew their star’s contract and keep the attacking trident - one that still seems somewhat surreal - of Mbappé, Neymar and Messi. Both sporting and financial tools will be used as Ligue 1 seem to be turning a blind eye to the Financial Fair Play rules.

In all honesty, throwing more money at the player doesn’t seem to be a tactic that is going to work, given the riches that are already upon him and almost certainly guaranteed in his future. On the pitch, and in the trophy cabinet, is where PSG’s best bet lies. But the clock is ticking and the dream of playing for Los Blancos is a strong one…