Real Madrid’s attempts to sign the French superstar are the latest episode in an ongoing PR battle between the two clubs and their supremoes vying for power in European football
Real Madrid have made an opening offer for Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe and are hopeful of concluding his signing this month.
The striker is out of contract in the French capital next year but Madrid are not prepared to wait for this outcome and are pushing to break their club transfer record to land the 22-year-old this year.
When confirming the approach on Wednesday, PSG sporting director Leonardo said that the Spanish side’s approach was “illegal, because they contacted the player” – hinting that the Spanish giants did not go through the official channels of contacting his club first.
Madrid’s move this year indicates the latest fraying of relations between the two clubs, who are in an ongoing battle for power on the European football stage.
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After all, the European Super League plans were primarily the brainchild of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who insisted that the continent’s top football clubs needed to break away from the structures of UEFA and governing bodies to fully flourish and find their true potential.
Within days of that ill-fated project being confirmed in April, Nasser Al-Khelaifi – chairman and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain – was re-elected to the UEFA Executive Committee as European Club Association (ECA), essentially placing him as a major force at European’s football governing body.
A report in Marca has now outlined that Real Madrid are fully aware that the two are now de facto ‘enemy clubs’ and has claimed that the Spanish giants are now expecting a ‘vendetta’ from the Parisians.
After all, PSG’s Leonardo did not hold back in his criticism of Real Madrid upon confirmation of their approach for Mbappe: “The attitude of Madrid has been disrespectful, incorrect, illegal and unacceptable.”
The report from the Spanish capital adds that the club have moved to tie down seven first-team players to new contracts in recent times, in part because they fear that the Parisian club will look to unsettle their players.
Luka Modric (2022), Lucas Vazquez (2024), Nacho Fernandez (2023), Dani Carvajal (2025), Thibaut Courtois (2026), Karim Benzema (2023) and Fede Valverde (2027) have all committed their futures to the club in recent weeks.
Can Kylian Mbappe fire Real Madrid to Champions League glory? Comment below
The inevitability is that Mbappe will join Real Madrid and the increasing likelihood is that a deal will be concluded this month, rather than as a free agent next summer.
It would be a huge PR victory for Madrid after a bruising few months in which key players – Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane – left the club and their European Super League project petered out.
Indeed, Ramos signing for PSG was symbolic after the talismanic defender endured increasingly strained relations with Perez in the Spanish capital; with the two playing a protracted game of poker regarding a new contract this year.
This is increasingly a PR battle between Real Madrid and PSG, between the heads of each club and for the future of European football.
The prospective signing of Mbappe is a massive show of strength from Los Blancos and the latest twist in an ongoing power play in elite football.
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