Mbappé: Real Madrid convinced PSG star's signing is in the bag
Real Madrid's plans for next season, both on and off the field, include the Paris Saint-Germain striker, who has no intention of renewing his PSG contract.
With 28 days to go until Kylian Mbappé enters the final six months of his Paris Saint-Germain deal, at which point he can sign a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid, there is an atmosphere of absolute assurance at the Bernabéu. Madrid are certain they’ve got the France striker in the bag. Evidence of Madrid’s confidence that Mbappé will arrive on a free transfer next summer is that all the club’s planning, both sporting and commercial, includes the 22-year-old.
Mbappé's determination to join Real Madrid crucial
This is far from a spur-of-the-moment purchase: Madrid’s pursuit of Mbappé has been a slow-burn that has been in the works for almost a year and a half now. Key to the deal has been the player’s determination to make the move happen. “Kylian has his head well screwed on and that’s why he tried to push through his exit from PSG last summer, so they could bank a decent fee for him,” a club source says. “The lad behaved perfectly; he couldn’t have done any more. Now he’ll come to Madrid on a free and it’s PSG’s fault.”
No chance of Mbappé renewing his PSG contract
Were there any chance whatsoever that PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi could persuade Mbappé to renew his contract at the Parc des Princes, the striker would already have put pen to paper. However, his heart is set on the Spanish capital, and Real Madrid know that. Mbappé wants to lead the new Madrid project at the club’s revamped stadium, which is to be completed in 2022. “He won’t feel like a support act here, as he does at PSG, with Lionel Messi and Neymar also at the club,” the same source told AS. “At Madrid, he’ll be the cornerstone of an ambitious project whose goal is to wow the football world.” That’s a hugely motivating factor for the player, who is conscious that PSG’s chief priority last summer, to his detriment, was to take Messi to Paris and help the Argentine to claim his seventh Ballon d’Or. The former Barcelona star was announced as the award’s 2021 winner on Monday.
Mbappé knows Ballon d'Or likelier at Real Madrid
Mbappé, on the other hand, finished ninth in the Ballon d’Or voting - a position he was stung by. As an 18-year-old, he came fourth after starring in France’s 2018 World Cup win. Three years later, he has slipped five places backwards. In no small measure, he puts this down to the fact that he’s at PSG, a club that is yet to truly meet expectations on the pitch. Mbappé knows that at Madrid, like his idol Cristiano Ronaldo, he has a much greater chance of being the brightest of world football’s constellation of stars and lifting his first Ballon d’Or. He hinted as much at the awards ceremony in Paris this week: “My aim is of course to win a Ballon d’Or, or several of them, but there’s a process to achieving that.” That process is: joining Real Madrid. Los Merengues’ head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, remains publicly cautious and limits himself to describing Mbappé as a “top player”, but privately he is delighted at the prospect of having a world-beating attacking trio at his disposal from July 2022.
Ancelotti excited by prospect of Mbappé-Benzema-Vinícius front three
Ancelotti knows the club has done its job to perfection when it comes to Mbappé, and is revelling in the expected arrival of a world star. A forward line of Mbappé, Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior is sure to grab many headlines, and Ancelotti is not concerned about the debate over the left wing, a position Mbappé and Vinícius both tend to occupy. He sees no problem accommodating both in the forward line, as Mbappé’s fluid movement will allow him to shine in all areas of the attack. Vinícius appears certain to remain on the left, with Ancelotti convinced that the Brazilian is the best player in the world in that position right now. Mbappé, who this season has 16 goals and 16 assists in 25 games for club and country, is relaxed, ready and waiting to finalise his dream move in the New Year. Incidentally, Thursday was the sixth anniversary of his professional debut, at Monaco. Then just 16, he came on in the final minutes of a Ligue 1 match against Caen, replacing Fábio Coentrão. That’s where the legend began…