Kylian Mbappé will leave Paris Saint-Germain next summer but not before – if Kylian Mbappé is to be believed. Within an hour of his camp releasing a statement announcing he had no intention of continuing at the club beyond the end of his contract, which expires in 2024, the France striker responded to reports that he wants to join Real Madrid immediately by dismissing them as “LIES” and insisting: “I have already said that I will continue at PSG next season where I am very happy.”
Mbappé’s statement comes as a direct challenge to the PSG hierarchy, who are determined not to lose the him for free in a year’s time, as a standoff develops, the first step in a long summer. Madrid had initially planned to move for Mbappé in 2024 but would be prepared to bid now if he is put on the market, particularly after the departure of Karim Benzema 12 months ahead of schedule. The Spanish club, though, remain reluctant to be drawn into another battle having failed with a €200m (£171m) bid to sign him in 2021 and again in 2022 as his contract was coming to an end, when they believed he would join them on a free transfer.
That pursuit was played out publicly, with Madrid convinced they had an agreement in place. Mbappé’s last-minute decision to remain in Paris had angered many in the Spanish capital but contact was reestablished, an apology had been made, and the intention was to line up his signing ready for next summer. This time, it would be up to Mbappé to take the necessary steps. He has now done so.
L’Équipe reported on Monday night that Mbappé had written to PSG to inform them he was not going to exercise the option to extend his contract beyond 2024. In a statement released on Tuesday through AFP, his camp said he had told the PSG board that as far back as 15 July 2022 – shortly after signing the original deal which was for two years with an optional extra year. Since then, it claimed, there had been no meaningful negotiations over an extension and he had no intention of continuing beyond June next year.
Faced with the prospect of losing him for free – a risk they had been prepared to take in 2021 – PSG’s preference is to push through a sale this summer. Mbappé does not want to be forced into a move not of his choosing. Le Parisien newspaper, which is close to the club hierarchy, reported on Tuesday that he intends to join Madrid immediately. He tweeted, though, to say he would to continue in Paris for another season.