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Top Landing Spots for Kylian Mbappé After PSG Transfer Rumours

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    Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Ajaccio at the Parc des Princes in Paris, on May 13, 2023. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

    FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

    The summer has barely begun and Kylian Mbappé’s name is already all over the place.

    On Monday, reports suggested the Paris Saint-Germain forward won’t extend beyond the last year of his contract and is therefore effectively up for sale right now.

    Despite calming those rumours down, the Frenchman’s future is going to be a major plot point of a transfer window that promises some spectacular moves.

    With Lionel Messi already saying goodbye, we could be entering the next phase of a PSG project that has so far failed to land the club’s inaugural Champions League crown; a factor exasperated by Manchester City’s similar project managing a treble in a much tougher domestic setting.

    So where could Mbappé end up if this is to be the end of his time at the Parc des Princes? It’s time to have a serious think.

Real Madrid

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 9: Kylian Mbappe (C) of Paris Saint-Germain in action against David Alaba (L) of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen leg two match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 09, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

    Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    Mbappé at Real Madrid feels inevitable, doesn’t it? The club’s failure to win La Liga or the Champions League this season means significant changes are afoot, underlined by Karim Benzema’s exit to Saudi Arabia.

    A new talisman is needed, and in a world where Erling Haaland isn’t available, Mbappé is the scariest option remaining.

    In fact, a front three of Mbappé, Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo would give Los Blancos the most terrifying attack in football. They are all tremendously skillful, unselfish and excellent at putting the ball away. The combined pace would basically make it vital for their opposition to keep hold of the ball, a feat few manage against Madrid.

    All that and then you realize Mbappé would be the oldest at just 24.

    It’s so easy to forget he is entering the so-called prime years having already won so many trophies aside from the Champions League. A link-up with the tournament’s most dominant force would likely add the big old jug to his cabinet.

Manchester United

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    Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 2, 2020. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

    OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

    Erik ten Hag’s plans at Manchester United remain up in the air. A potential takeover rolls on, despite rumours that both Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim’s bids have been close in recent weeks.

    United may only have a transfer budget of around £100m, a number you probably wouldn’t expect to land Mbappé even with one year left on his contract. However, that’d all change if a financial injection is agreed in the early stages of a summer that looks like it could drag for both the player and club in question.

    Ten Hag’s influence pushed Marcus Rashford to become the Red Devils’ first scorer of 30 goals in a single season since Robin van Persie a decade ago. Rashford far outperformed colleagues Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst while swapping between a central role and the wing, but he needs more from his teammates to continue pushing on.

    Names like Weghorst and Odion Ighalo just aren’t what United should be about.

    Ten Hag deserves backing after a brilliant first season, no matter what happens with the takeover. United have the manager they need. Now is the time to upgrade to give him the striker he needs.

Manchester City

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24:  Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain is challenged by Joao Cancelo of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain at Etihad Stadium on November 24, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Okay, okay. This seems like overkill.

    A treble-winning side adding Mbappé is enough to make everyone else want to pack up and go home. You’d think there is no need. Haaland’s debut season was one for the ages and there isn’t an obvious reason why City would need to further risk the wrath of financial fair play by bringing in someone of Mbappé’s expenditure.

    But then the mind turns a little. Mbappé in a Pep Guardiola team? Arguably the most devastating player of his generation with arguably the best manager of all time? Just by default, it would be a success, but it’d be fascinating to see how the precision of Pep’s tactics would impact Mbappé’s game.

    Maybe we’d see him start at wingback, extracting the power from Kyle Walker and molding himself into a new coast-to-coast sensation. Perhaps he’d sit in central midfield, keeping play ticking over before bursting into the box.

    While it seems like it won’t happen, Mbappé and Pep together with City’s squad would cement the club’s place atop the footballing world for years to come.

Newcastle United

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    AUXERRE, FRANCE - MAY 21: Kylian Mbappe of PSG celebrates his second goal during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between AJ Auxerre (AJA) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stade de l'Abbe Deschamps on May 21, 2023 in Auxerre, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

    Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

    Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United outperformed expectations with a top-four Premier League finish and League Cup runners-up medal this year. Even with the recent takeover–one that is likely to yield many huge names and a lot of success–they are ahead of the plan.

    Signings have so far lent towards being smart, rather than a big name just for the sake of it.

    Alexander Isak is a great example of this; the forward is young, ready to learn and was linked to a number of elite teams. Newcastle flexed their muscles a little way to land him, but they’ll need more now Champions League football is coming back to St. James’ Park.

    Mbappé is perhaps a step too far at this stage, but the owners are at least likely to discuss the possibility if he becomes available.

    Howe should be keen to not rush into a Galacticos era and it’s unlikely Mbappé would head to the North East of England when other offers are on the table. But Newcastle even being a legit mention on this list is a reminder that, before long, this level of transfer will be on the cards for the Geordies.

Saudi Arabia

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    Nassr's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after scoring during the Saudi Pro League football match between Al-Nassr and Al-Shabab at the al-Awwal Park Stadium in Riyadh on May 23, 2023. (Photo by Fayez NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

    FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

    Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante. The Saudi league is elevating itself by mopping up ageing superstars.

    The next big step is to land an elite player who hasn’t entered the latter stages of their career.

    There would be no bigger statement of intent than signing Mbappé. He would create unrivaled hype and social clips; the kind of highlights that fans would constantly share. Mbappé’s goals would also drive a familiarity that benefits the entire division, no matter which club picks him up.

    It’s on these types of deals that the future of the league will hinge. The Chinese Super League is a great example of failing to capitalize on the initial buzz and a missed opportunity for a market that chucked a ton of money into something that ultimately stagnated.

    Mbappé leaving Europe seems unthinkable but would change everything when it comes to options top-level stars consider during the peak of their careers.

    Very few players of this quality become available, and until Mbappé signs a new contract with PSG, he is going to continue generating all sorts of headlines that link him with a move away.

    The most obvious landing spots seem to be Madrid or Manchester in his search of that elusive Champions League title. Whoever fronts up the cash, whether it’s Europe or further afield, will instantly add one of the greatest weapons in world football, and all the fandom that brings with it.

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