Kylian Mbappe insists he is “very happy” at Paris Saint-Germain and has hinted that he may well sign a new contract with the Ligue 1 giants, who are desperate to tie both Mbappe and Neymar down to new long-term deals. But that could well spell bad news for Manchester United and Chelsea.
Speaking after PSG thrashed Montpellier on Friday night, Mbappe said: “We are talking with the club. I am thinking about it, because if I sign, it will be in order to invest myself for the long term into PSG.
“I am very happy here. The supporters and the club have always helped me. I’m going to think about what I want to do in the next few years, where I want to be.
“I am reflecting on it, not trying to buy time or anything like that. I don’t want to sign a contract and then one year later say I want to leave because I did not want to sign the contract. If I sign, I will stay, so I have to think about it.”
His manager Mauricio Pochettino added: “It’s clear that these are decisive words. He is a fundamental player for PSG. I hope he will be here with us for many more years.”
Progress, then, may be being made towards PSG’s aim of keeping Mbappe – one of the most valuable players in world football given his output at the age of 22 and his room for further improvement. Transfermarkt put his price at a cool £162million, though that last valuation was back in October.
But Mbappe remaining in Paris may not bode well for United and Chelsea, who will have been expecting Real Madrid to make a concerted attempt at trying to sign Mbappe, who has long been linked with a move to the Bernabeu, in the summer of 2021.
At the very least they will have expected them to be preoccupied with trying to convince the player of joining on a free the following year.
COVID-19 has plunged Real into financial crisis but Mbappe is very clear atop their long-term list, with Los Blancos waiting for the right opportunity to make a move, and if they sensed an approach could be made this calendar year, you can bet that they’ll make one.
But if the France international signs a new contract, with his current agreement expiring in 2022, then he will not be attainable for the foreseeable future.
And that could prompt the Spanish champions to look elsewhere in their search of another forward to revolutionise their front-line, with Karim Benzema recently turning 33 and out of contract in 2022 and Eden Hazard still yet to produce his best form due to injuries.
That could lead them to Erling Haaland, the Borussia Dortmund striker who looks likely to be Mbappe’s main Ballon d’Or rival in football’s post-Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo era.
Prized by all of Europe’s major clubs, it has recently emerged that Chelsea are considering a swoop for 20-year-old Haaland in the upcoming summer transfer window. United are also keeping close tabs and it’s no wonder why.
Like Mbappe, Haaland was also in action on Friday night and though Dortmund lost 4-2 to Borussia Monchengladbach, the Norway international scored a brace and now has 21 goals in 19 games this season.
Across the last two seasons, the towering frontman has scored 65 goals and laid on 13 assists in just 59 matches for Red Bull Salzburg and Dortmund, with whom he has established himself as a force to be reckoned with since an £18m switch 12 months ago.
Such a formidable goalscoring record, having proven he can do it on the big stage with 16 goals in 12 Champions League games, has seen Chelsea and United draw up plans for the future with Haaland at the heart of them.
With virtually every technical and physical attribute desirable in the modern game, in addition to a fearless mentality, Haaland looks set to go on and enjoy a trophy-laden goal-rich career. He is a born goalscorer and already, at the age of 20, is a world-class frontman.
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The Norwegian is available for around £67million in the summer of 2022 when a release clause becomes active in his contract but he even may be the subject of a bidding war 12 months earlier than that.
And while United and Chelsea will fancy their chances of outbidding Real Madrid should clubs look to prise him from Dortmund this year, The Athletic say that joining the La Liga heavyweights would be the player’s dream.
As mentioned, Real are enduring financial problems despite being arguably the biggest club in world football but there is every chance Haaland stays at Dortmund for the 2021-22 season.
The Bundesliga giants will not be keen on the idea of selling Haaland even though they will lose him for less than £70m, given his market value may well even be double that, a year later.
Should clubs be made to wait another 18 months to land Haaland, then his release clause should be affordable for Real, particularly if they can sell off squad players and get fans back into the Bernabeu before then.
If Mbappe signs a new contract at PSG, Los Blancos will surely firmly fix their sights on landing Haaland, be that in 2021 or 2022, and given he’d clearly be reciprocal to such a move, that might leave United and Chelsea having to look elsewhere.