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How would Mbappé's arrival from PSG affect Real Madrid’s salary structure?

While Real Madrid are prepared to make Kylian Mbappé their highest earner by a distance, the World Cup winner will have to take a pay cut to join Los Blancos.

While Real Madrid are prepared to make Kylian Mbappé their highest earner by a distance, the World Cup winner will have to take a pay cut to join Los Blancos.

Kylian Mbappé appears set to join Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer, after the striker publicly confirmed today that he is to leave Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expires at the end of the season. Earlier this year, PSG chief Nasser Al-Khelaïfi privately acknowledged that Mbappé has a deal in place to sign for Madrid, two years after turning his back on Los Blancos and penning a lucrative contract to stay in France.

Real Madrid chief uncompromising on pay structure

While Mbappé is expected to become the highest-paid player in Madrid’s first-team squad, he’ll have to take a drop in salary to join the 14-time European Cup winners. Protecting the club’s salary structure has always been a deal-breaker for Madrid’s president, Florentino Pérez, and he has not wavered from that stance in his negotiations with the France international.

When Madrid pursued Mbappé back in 2017, while the World Cup winner was still at Monaco, the Spanish club were in part put off a deal because the wages he was seeking - €12 million a year after tax - would have broken the club’s established pay structure at that time. Madrid were also unwilling to dispense with forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, leading Mbappé to express concerns over his route into a starting line-up which, at the time, also included Cristiano Ronaldo. Against this backdrop, the striker instead joined PSG in a €180m transfer, after an initial season-long loan in Paris.

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How much is Mbappé expected to earn at Real Madrid?

Now, as Mbappé seemingly prepares to complete a move to the Bernabéu at long last, Madrid remain as unwilling as ever to break the bank to pay the star’s wages.

We will have to wait for exact details of the player’s contract to emerge, but AS understands that Los Merengues’ plan was to offer him a yearly salary of €25 million after tax, around twice as much as the squad’s current highest earners. According to club sources, David Alaba (€10.8 million) and Toni Kroos (€10.7 million) are currently in Madrid’s top pay bracket, along with Jude Bellingham, who is thought to earn a similar amount. They’re followed by Éder Militão, Thibaut Courtois, Antonio Rüdiger and Vinícius Júnior, who pocket around €8 million a year. Meanwhile, players such as Aurélien Tchouaméni, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo Goes are at the €6 million mark.

According to reports in the French media, €6 million is the sum Mbappé has been earning per month at PSG - although this figure is before tax.

Real Madrid benefit from good financial management

While Madrid have been unwilling to go quite that high, the healthy state of the club’s finances has allowed it to dig deeper than it has ever before to foot Mbappé's wage bill. After a years-long period in which the club kept its spending on players to a minimum, and made salary savings by pushing through the departures of big earners like Sergio Ramos, Bale, Benzema and Eden Hazard, the 36-time Spanish champions were in a position to loosen the purse strings once more in summer 2023, signing Bellingham in a deal worth around €135 million.

A year on, they’re now poised to make another ‘galáctico’ signing by enticing Mbappé to LaLiga.

Indeed, Madrid’s positive financial position was recently highlighted by UEFA’s European Club Finance and Investment Landscape Report, which revealed that Los Blancos accrued revenue higher than any other club on the continent in 2022/23, banking €841 million. The club, in fact, placed that figure a little higher in its own accounts, at €843m - an increase of nearly 17% on the previous season.