It’s very rare that at 21 years old a decision you make on your career could affect the entirety of the rest of it but that is what is facing Kylian Mbappe.
The French forward signed for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 on an initial year-long loan deal, followed by a permanent deal worth up to €180 million. He signed a five-year deal which will expire in 2022 and rumours have swirled about his future.
As he enters the penultimate season of that deal, not only does he have to make a decision on his future but so do PSG.
Mbappe and his entourage have made no secret of their dream to play for Real Madrid, while his childhood idol was Zinedine Zidane – the current Real Madrid manager. If you look at everything on paper right now, the stars seem to be aligning for that move to happen in the very near future.
PSG will almost certainly have other ideas though. Mbappe is their crown jewel and while they still have Neymar too, he is turning 29 this season. They see Mbappe as their golden boy and the fact that he is French just makes his appeal to the Parisians that much greater. They will be willing to throw a blank cheque at him in the hope of convincing him to stay into the latter part of his career.
But as mentioned already, Real Madrid is his dream. Signing a new four or five year deal would see Mbappe until 2026 at the earliest and then he’s 26. While that’s still young and arguably him entering his prime, it needs to be remembered how young he started. He broke into the Monaco team at 16 and has been being kicked game in and game out ever since. The risk of a single injury completely changing the direction of his career isn’t as low as it is for others because he is a constant target for the opposition.
He’d also become ever more expensive for Madrid as he enters that stage of his career. The chances of Zidane leaving increase and PSG’s inevitable success is another option for Mbappe to build a legacy and career for the ages.
Stories have already begun swirling in Spanish press that Mbappe won’t renew his contract with PSG in order to force a sale next summer. However, until PSG genuinely attempt the renewal it’s hard to know what Mbappe will do. With COVID-19 still running rampant, he doesn’t know if Madrid would be able to afford him next year or at any time in the future.
It’s a risk he could take but if he tries to run his contract down, PSG are big enough and powerful enough to freeze him out for a year if they know they’re about to lose him for free. It’s unlikely, but it’s a possibility.
This season, Mbappe must make the decision – sign a new deal at PSG and spend the best years of his career in Paris, or secure his dream move to Real Madrid by refusing to sign a new deal at one of the most powerful clubs in Europe.
Tick tock, Kylian.