In Kylian Mbappe’s Real Madrid snub as WhatsApp pops up to Florentino Perez

The France international shocked the footballing world by deciding against a move to Real Madrid despite the move looking all but complete after last summer’s saga

Kylian Mbappe is close to a move to Real Madrid
Kylian Mbappe has turned down a move to Real Madrid

Kylian Mbappe has confirmed he has signed a new three-year deal at Paris Saint-Germain and will remain in the French capital for the foreseeable future despite strong interest from Real Madrid.

In last summer’s transfer saga, Los Blancos put enormous pressure on in the search for his signature, submitting mega-money bids worth up to £200m to try to force the Parisian’s hands. Remarkably, at this point, with one year left on his contract, PSG remained steadfast and turned down Real Madrid’s offers.

What followed was a full season of speculation about where Mbappe would play his football beyond this summer. Given the context of the striker’s original contract expiring this summer, there seemed to be a consensus in Spain that it was a foregone conclusion that Mbappe would sign for the club as a free agent.

Ahead of the New Year’s winter window, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez told Spanish outlet El Debate: “In January we will have news about Mbappe. Hopefully everything can be sorted out on January 1.”

Obviously things were not sorted and thus the gap created ensured that more speculation and rumors would follow. As summer approached, almost everyone linked to the player, PSG and Real Madrid was approached for comment on Mbappe’s future.

Mbappe himself further fueled the rumor mill with an interview on the eve of the January transfer window, when he explained that “life experience” is more important to him than money.

Kylian Mbappe has turned down a move to Real Madrid


(Getty Images)

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“Human bonds are far more fascinating (than money),” Mbappe told Paris Match (via RMC Sport). “It’s the life experience that counts more than making money.” I have a quiet relationship with money: I know it’s important, I’m glad I have it, but that’s not what drives me every second of the day.”

At his press conference earlier this month, PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino held his cards close to his chest as he explained: “I don’t know his decision, it’s something personal between Kylian Mbappe and the club. I may have hunches – but it’s up to Kylian and the club to communicate.”

Mbappe’s mum has, pending her confirmation, explained that the decision is not motivated by money as both clubs have offered the 23-year-old a similar deal. “We have an agreement with both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain,” Fayza Lamari told Kora Plus. “Kylian will decide now. The two offers from PSG and Real Madrid are almost identical. It’s up to Kylian now.”

Just a few months ago, Mbappe was rumored to have reached a pre-contractual agreement with the Spanish giants. More recently, personal terms were settled and all that remained was to wait for the season to end.

However, PSG sources have since told the Athletic that Madrid’s confidence that the young star would always make it to the Bernabeu was always misplaced. What a statement the French made to the rest of the football world.

The final blow came in the form of a WhatsApp message sent to Perez by Mbappe, informing the Real Madrid boss of his decision. “I inform you that I have decided to stay at PSG,” read Mbappe’s text. The striker was merciful in his denial.

“I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me to play for Madrid, the club I’ve been a fan of since childhood,” Mbappe continued.

Kylian Mbappe has signed a three-year contract with PSG


(Getty Images)

Given the well-documented ties between PSG and Qatar stemming from ownership, it would have been felt as a blow to the latter’s reputation just months before the eyes of the planet are on them to lose the World Cup if they would lose Mbappe to Madrid.

Instead, PSG now looks entirely as if the European powerhouse have retained their precious asset while fending off what is arguably the greatest club side in the world. The Parisians already have seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and Neymar in their ranks but it is Mbappe who is seen as the face of the PSG brand.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are scratching their heads over who his next Galactico signing will be after missing out on both Mbappe and Erling Haaland. La Liga in general is desperate for a new face as replacing the likes of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has proved difficult.

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