The summer’s biggest soccer melodrama may be just getting started.
Paris Saint-Germain’s French star Kylian Mbappe has broken his silence a day after news broke that he had written to the club saying he would not extend his contract beyond 2024.
In a statement and on social media, Mbappe said his decision not to extend his contract was communicated to PSG last summer, but the declaration was quickly rejected by the club. And Mbappe has taken to social media to deny a French newspaper report that he wants to join Real Madrid this summer, saying he has no such offer.lie”
He wrote on Twitter that he was “very happy” at the club.
By then, however, the player and its star had been stirring up controversy and going back and forth in a very public way.
PSG officials had privately expressed their shock and surprise on Monday after receiving a letter informing them that Mbappe would be leaving the club next summer. The letter was leaked to the French media before it reached the club’s offices. An executive familiar with the negotiations said the team believed progress was being made in negotiations for a new multi-year deal, but had no authority to publicly discuss the sensitive negotiations.
However, in a statement sent to the French news agency on behalf of Mbappe, the player’s representative denied that there had been any talks about a contract extension, the letter referring to what Mbappe had told the club a year earlier. has only confirmed in writing that: Two months after signing the current nine-figure contract. Mbappe said at the time that the club knew he would not take the option of staying with the team for a third season, even though he had a team jersey with ‘2025’ written on his back. at his signing ceremony.
The club did not release an official statement on Monday about Mbappe or his plans. But the company responded curtly to claims that it had never discussed a contract renewal. A club spokesman said: “It is clearly false to say that Mbappe’s team was not involved in the contract renewal negotiations.”
The deepening rift between Mbappe, one of the world’s most famous athletes, and the club, one of the richest teams in European football, could lead to the final phase PSG hoped to avoid. may invite. That’s probably the sooner Mbappe leaves his hometown of Paris. this summer.
However, as was the case during a similar brinkmanship last summer, it remains possible for the player and the club to reach a settlement, but only if the player changes sides and agrees to sign a contract extension. be done.
Mbappe said in a statement that he would remain in Paris for the final year of his current contract before moving on. However, the statement also did not answer why the letter was signed, dated 15 July 2022, or why it was only delivered to the club this week, despite verbally communicating their intentions to the club that day. also raised questions.
It also ensures that Mbappe’s status at the club will be the talk of the football world for the second year in a row.
Last year, it took the personal intervention of French President Emmanuel Macron to finally persuade Mbappe to stay in Paris for at least a few more years. The club are now considering possible outcomes. Should Mbappe be sold immediately rather than risk losing him for free as a free agent next year? Or can we find a way to convince the club to pay a hefty transfer fee now to secure Mbappe after his contract with PSG expires?
What is inconceivable, at least from PSG’s point of view, is that the club will receive nothing for a player who has invested more than $500 million since joining in 2017. Just last year, PSG paid players over $100 million. sign his new contract. Club officials are now concerned that Mbappe has already made a deal with Real Madrid to sign for the Spanish club.
Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez did little to assuage his paranoia this week when he responded positively to fan questions about whether the Spanish club would sign Mbappe. Perez replied that Madrid would pursue the French star.But this year is different.”
For now, Mbappe has reiterated his intention to stay in Paris for one more season in a statement.
“In recent weeks, Kylian Mbappe has publicly stated that he will continue to play for PSG next season, but we have just confirmed with the club that he is not seeking to leave this summer and will not activate his contract extension,” said Mbappe. stated in the statement. and his agents.
The publication of the letter by the French press before the club received it “was only intended to damage the image of the club and its dialogue with the club,” the statement said.
PSG expect Mbappe to eventually move on, and club officials know Mbappe’s expressed affiliation with Real Madrid means negotiations for a contract extension could fall through. was But a person familiar with the club’s negotiations with the player said the club did not expect his intentions to be made public through Monday’s letter. The executive said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had discussed the matter with Mbappe’s mother, Faiza Ramali, and that other club officials had also contacted Mbappe directly. However, little is known about what happened, only confirmation of the player’s intention to leave.