Kylian Mbappé is staying at Paris Saint-Germain after his Real Madrid withdrawal

PARIS — One of football’s most desirable players, Kylian Mbappé will remain at Paris Saint-Germain after once again turning down a chance to join Real Madrid.

France’s World Cup-winning striker has agreed to a three-year contract extension that is close to being signed, a person with knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the deal talks.

23-year-old Mbappé’s contract expires in June and he would have been available on a free transfer.

Rather than join 13-time European champions Madrid who have haunted him for so long, Mbappé remains to try and give PSG their maiden Champions League title.

Madrid managed to beat PSG in the Champions League this season, but again not on the transfer market.

The Spanish giants’ failure to sign Mbappé comes as a blow to its president, Florentino Pérez, who has been trying to get the transfer through the line for a year.

PSG rejected Madrid’s official offer of 180 million euros ($190 million) – the same amount Mbappé was signed by Monaco for in 2017 – and even another reported amount of 200 million euros ($211 million) was enough not out to sell his star, even though he had only one year left on his contract. Mbappé said he wanted to leave PSG at the end of last season but only on the right terms.

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring against FC Lorient in April.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring against FC Lorient in April.
AFP via Getty Images

The wealth of the club’s Emir-linked Qatari sovereign wealth fund allows PSG to resist offers that may prove irresistible to other clubs lacking government funding.

The non-transfer reflects the changing power dynamics in European football. Pérez was one of the architects of the European Super League’s spin-off from the UEFA Champions League, which imploded within 48 hours in April 2021.

PSG refrained from joining the 12 founders of the Super League, allowing its president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, to take on one of the most powerful roles in the game as head of the European Club Association.

Pérez is still pursuing his Super League dream amidst a clash with UEFA.

Meanwhile, Spanish league president Javier Tebas was furious.

“It is an insult to football that PSG will renew Mbappé with huge sums of money (who knows where and how they will pay them) after losses of €700m in recent seasons and more than €600m in salaries.” he wrote on Twitter. “Al-Khelafi is as dangerous as the Super League.”

Mbappé, who played for France at the 2018 World Cup, would have been a statement for Pérez – especially if he had lured Mbappé away from a team that only emerged as rivals over the past decade thanks to its funding from Qatar.

But the energy expended on the transfer and the optimism of Madrid chasing their record-breaking 14th European Cup win when they meet Liverpool in next Saturday’s Champions League final in Paris has been dashed.

As Mbappé won the league’s best player award for the third time last Sunday, he said he had made his mind up in principle but didn’t say in which direction.

Tensions between the clubs were evident when PSG were kicked out of the Champions League by Madrid in the round of 16 in March – despite leading 2-0 in the aggregate with two goals from Mbappé – and Al-Khelaifi continued to be challenged by UEFA over an alleged confrontation was investigated with match officials after the loss.

Madrid are being stalled again after trying to sign Mbappé after he left Monaco in 2017 – and even before that.

At the age of 14 he attended Madrid’s facilities and was greeted by French star Zinedine Zidane, but instead chose to start his stellar career in Monaco.

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe scores in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against FC Barcelona in February.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe scores in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against FC Barcelona in February.
AFP via Getty Images

Mbappé’s first professional goal came at the age of 17 years and 62 days, beating Monaco’s club record held by Thierry Henry.

At 51, Henry is France’s record goalscorer. Mbappé is already 26 and could overtake him as a PSG player.

He is PSG’s second-highest goalscorer at 168 and could surpass Edinson Cavani’s record of 200 next season.

He later looked to add to his 25-place lead alongside teammates Lionel Messi – the record seven-time Ballon d’Or winner – and Neymar in Saturday’s season-ending home game against the struggling Metz at the Parc des Princes.

The brilliant attacking trio, which didn’t click as expected this season, will play together again next season.

However, Mbappé misses a chance to play for Madrid alongside French team-mate Karim Benzema in what would have been a devastating partnership and the envy of Europe. They scored together for Les Bleus last year, both scoring as France won the Nations League final.

Another of the world’s most coveted young forwards is Erling Haaland, who is leaving Borussia Dortmund for English powerhouse Manchester City.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/21/kylian-mbappe-to-stay-at-paris-saint-germain-after-rejecting-real-madrid/ Kylian Mbappé is staying at Paris Saint-Germain after his Real Madrid withdrawal

JOE HERNANDEZ

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