Al-Hilal made a world-record offer to Paris Saint-Germain for superstar forward Kylian Mbappé. Here’s what that means.
After striking out on an offer to Lionel Messi that reportedly would’ve paid him $1.3 billion over two years, Saudi club Al-Hilal is again gunning for one of the world’s best players. This time, they’ve set their sights on Kylian Mbappé.
Al-Hilal reportedly made a record $332 million bid to Paris Saint-Germain for Mbappé, who has one year left on his contract, with a salary offer of just over $775 million for that last season. Mbappé is reportedly not interested in this offer, making his sporting future murky.
The 24-year-old French superstar announced last month that he wouldn’t renew his contract at PSG, with rumors swirling that he’d already agreed to a contract with Real Madrid and that the Spanish club has long been Mbappé’s preferred, dream destination. PSG didn’t include him on the roster for the club’s preseason tour in Japan, adding further fuel to the fire.
Now PSG has some hard choices to make. After losing Messi to Inter Miami on a free transfer, the Parisians will want an exorbitant fee for Mbappé. PSG may just try to find an offer this summer, though Mbappé could reportedly receive an $89 million bonus if he’s still on the team in September.
PSG faces a hard choice that many top teams encounter when global superstars approach free agency. The top option is, of course, re-sign Mbappé and keep the world’s most talented player throughout his prime. They could try to sell him now for top dollar/euro to a club that would only get Mbappé for a year and risk losing him for free next summer. If Mbappé is really dead-set on Real Madrid, should PSG just negotiate a deal with them now? Would Real cut a deal now, or just wait for Mbappé to come over for free?
The primary difference in trades or transfers between European and American sports is that in international soccer transfers, teams either require or generally receive a player’s consent beforehand. There’s been a small wave of anger from some international Major League Soccer players who were traded without consent, one of the many fundamental differences between MLS and other soccer leagues.
Al-Hilal’s offer seems dead on arrival without Mbappé’s interest. A change of heart, however, would be the crown jewel of the Saudi Pro League‘s obscene spending spree. They’ve already spent on top international talents in Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Roberto Firmino. Al-Hilal alone doled out €118 million so far this transfer window on Portuguese star defensive midfielder Rúben Neves from Wolves, midfielder Sergej Milinković-Savić from Lazio, and center back Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea. Mbappé is the latest massive star to get a gargantuan Saudi offer, and he won’t be the last as the country’s sportswashing ambitions continue to make global sporting inroads.
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