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Real Madrid: Florentino Pérez offers Mbappé signing update

Speaking on Monday, Real Madrid president Pérez promised news on the signing of Kylian Mbappé at the start of January, before later qualifying his comments.

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Real Madrid: Florentino Pérez offers Mbappé signing update
FRANCK FIFE AFP

“Kylian has again shown what great character he has. His comments show that Real Madrid acted honestly and transparently when they submitted their offer to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of August. Kylian is following the roadmap set out for his signing.”

Speaking to AS, that was the satisfied verdict of an important figure at Madrid when asked to evaluate the key step taken by the PSG striker, who has laid his cards on the table about what happened last summer and has shown up Parc des Princes sporting director Leonardo, who has sought to paint Madrid as a classless club that snuck up at the end of the transfer window to snare Mbappé in an improper fashion.

Real Madrid president: "In January we'll have news on Mbappé"

At an event put on by the media outlet El Debate on Tuesday, Madrid president Florentino Pérez spoke of Madrid’s pursuit of the 22-year-old France star, who is out of contract next June. Pérez offered up a date on which major developments can be expected: “In January we’ll have news on Mbappé. Hopefully everything can be sorted on 1 January.” In an interview on Radio Montecarlo, the Madrid chief later sought to qualify his comments, explaining: “My words were misinterpreted. What I meant was that we will have to wait until next year for news, always with respect for PSG. We have a very good relationship with them.”

Leonardo was left exposed when Mbappé revealed PSG had known by late July that he wanted to leave for Madrid in the summer and that, by informing the club of his plans at that stage, he sought to give the Parisians time to replace him and the opportunity to negotiate a significant transfer fee. PSG are now set to lose him for nothing, as Mbappé has made it clear his mind is made up and that it’s a matter of waiting until 1 January to realise his dream of signing for Los Blancos: “Over these past two months, the club haven’t spoken to me about renewing. I said in the summer how I felt.” The die is cast, and PSG and Mbappé both know that… as do Madrid.

Mbappé out to be leader of new Real Madrid project

The only problem, as has been reported by the journalist Josep Pedrerol, is that the player’s camp is urging him to restart talks with PSG, using as a bargaining chip the fact that he’ll be free to sign a pre-contract with whichever team he wants in 86 days’ time. However, Mbappé is a lad with an old head on young shoulders and has for some time been in no doubt that he wants to be the leader and standard bearer of a new project at Madrid, whose revamped, modernised Bernabéu will be almost complete next summer.

What’s more, his confession of the “fear” he felt when PSG’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, told him he wouldn’t leave the club “even for free” is indicative of a wound that remains open and has scuppered any remaining chance of him extending his deal in the French capital. “I gulped when I listened to him.” It’s not about money, but professional dignity. Madridistas have taken his public comments as another nod to his future club. The same goes for his decision to report for France duty on Monday dressed entirely in white...

Mbappé arrives for France duty dressed all in white.