Mbappe: The pendulum dangles
In football, like it is said, everything is situational, and in every situation decision is required. The situation surrounding Kylian Mbappe’s football career demands decision and quick one too.
Even in the wake of Paris Saint Germain’s remarkable summer of business, there is still speculation surrounding Kylian Mbappe’s future. Remarkably, it even partially overshadowed the unveiling of Lionel Messi. Sitting in front of the world’s media, Messi, understandably, was the focus of attention while his new club announced him as their newest talisman. Then followed the questions, and the delicate subject of Mbappe.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi was asked whether Mbappe is expected to stay at the Parc des Princes, and his answer was a defiant ‘yes’. He even insisted that the young striker has no excuse not to stay, given the quality of his team-mates.
‘Everyone knows the future of Mbappe. He is a PSG player,’ he said. ‘Kylian is very competitive, he wants to win, he has publicly said that he does not want to leave the team and there are no doubts or excuses of any other kind. Mbappe stays’.
On paper, it was a clear answer. Indeed, the expectation at the club is firmly that Mbappe will remain.
Read Madrid: Mbappe have agreement to join Real Madrid
But even the strongest of words from the president himself has not been enough to prevent the rumours from swirling.
The latest reports suggest that Mbappe has become ‘concerned’ over the arrival of Messi, despite his signing set to combine the two forwards together with Neymar in a frankly terrifying front three for this season. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Messi penning his deal has irked Mbappe, who now fears that he will be thrust into the shadow of his two illustrious partners.
He has won trophies, scored countless goals and cemented his reputation as one of the best players in the world already, despite his tender age. But, with his contract ending next summer, he may feel he has reached his ceiling.
And with all of these factors thrown up into the air haphazardly, it is little wonder there is an element of fear among a section of PSG supporters that, against the odds, other clubs might snap him up.
Mbappe was signed from Monaco in 2018 for around £165m. Forbes estimated that Mbappe earned a total of $42 million over the course of 2020, of which $28m was salary and bonuses from his contract with the French champions.
The only footballers to earn more than him were Messi ($126m), Ronaldo ($117m) and Neymar ($96m).
Now, should Mbappe leave PSG, where would be his possible destination? Which of the clubs have the financial strength to afford him? Which of the clubs are lacking in Mbappe’s wing? Funds could be definitely an issue with the 21-year-old not going to come cheaply, believed to currently be earning around €350,000 per week, if not more.
According to a report, PSG had earlier placed a price tag of EUR 200 million on their jewel after they tried proposing a new deal which he refused to accept. At a price like this, there are actually only a handful of clubs who can consider buying Mbappe. Barcelona is obviously out of the question, they have greater financial issues.
Of the possible clubs that could land the Arrondissement of Paris born, Real Madrid is at the forefront, because Mbappe has also praised the club, and Florentino Perez obviously likes him.
However, a former Real Madrid president Roman Calderon had raised concern that the Bernabeu outfit cannot afford Mbappe in a time when the football world has been starved of normality and is experiencing financial challenges like never before, but that they would probably make it work.
Should Madrid make the Mbappe move work, does the club have what it takes to keep him and Eden Hazard, who is Real Madrid highest paid player, with a weekly salary of 407,000 pounds?
Unarguably, Mbappe has the skills to excel at Bernabeu, but with stars like Benzema, Bale, Vinicus, etc. one would begin to wonder if such a move is the best in view of the prevailing economic challenges faced by football clubs in the face of the pandemic.
Liverpool is another possible destination for Mbappe, but the club is facing a financial crisis at the moment. Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp was recently quoted as saying that he did not know how Manchester United pulled off their summer spending spree this season.
“We all know the situation of Chelsea and City and PSG,” Klopp said ahead of Liverpool’s opening match against Norwich.
“What United are doing, I don’t know how they did it. We have our own way to do it. We are allowed to spend the money we earn, that we always did. This year we spent before we earned money with Konate because after last season, just to be clear, we cannot take any risk in this position at all.
Simply put, Liverpool are not in the best financial position to make such a huge transaction, bearing in mind that the club has quality players up front such as Salah, Mane, Jota, etc. The club is not really lacking in terms of good strikers. This was confirmed by John Barnes an ex-Liverpool player who said that the club do not need a new striker this summer. ‘‘Mbappe is not the answer for Liverpool, unless he can play centre-back’’ Barnes said.
Manchester City for sure have what it takes to bring Mbappe to Etihad stadium, there does not seem to be too many players out of reach for City with the Etihad outfit having been interested in Lionel Messi earlier this summer. However, such a deal does not seem to be in the front burners of Man City now.
The highest-paid player at City is Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian’s previous salary of £300,000 per week has risen to nearly £400,000 per week, making him the club’s highest paid player. And the club just landed Jack Grealish at a price fee of 100 million pounds, $139 million.
Juventus had the financial power to bring in Cristiano Ronaldo a couple of years ago and could have the same to sign Mbappe.
There has been talk that Ronaldo may depart Turin next summer and that would certainly free up the cash.
But with Juventus desperate to get their hands back on the Champions League, they may do all they can to secure Mbappe’s services.
Cristiano Ronaldo is signed by the club for a transfer amount of €100 million (£88 million) and Ronaldo’s weekly salary is €565 500 (£500,000). The ‘Old Lady’ has Ronaldo, Morata, Bernadesch, Dybala, etc. upfront.
Manchester United football club seems to have the money to spend but that Red Devils chiefs just do not want to be taken advantage of.
They spent big on Harry Maguire last summer though are reluctant to repeat the feat on Jadon Sancho this year.
Though if Mbappe is available, there is certainly the financial clout at Old Trafford for United to be in the transfer battle.
Goalkeeper David de Gea tops the charts as the highest earner at Manchester United with a whopping £375,000 a week, followed by Sancho at £350,000 and Pogba £290,000
The pendulum is really dangling for Mbappe and he has time on his hands and a highly impressive net worth for a player of his age. Mbappe’s current contract with PSG expires in 2022. This is the time for Mbappe to make a decision!