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Kylian Mbappé: A mystery a day

Since the start of the year, news about Kylian Mbappé’s future, many of them contradictory, have been coming out like crazy. PSG is staying calm.

The future of Kylian Mbappé has been back in the spotlight at the beginning of this year. After a quiet start to the season, in which the player kept his mouth shut to avoid any speculation, the beginning of 2024 has been marked by public appearances by the protagonists, contradictory news, and a flurry of rumors that recall, at their peak, what happened in 2022.

The first to speak up was the player, who, after winning the Super Cup against Toulouse on January 3, came out to speak in the mixed zone to declare that he “had not yet made a decision,” that he “had signed an agreement with PSG” in which the club was protected, without giving any more details of it, and that “it would not make sense to prolong a decision like in 2022,” so everything seemed to indicate that his future, as revealed by L’Équipe, would be resolved before the round of 16 against Real Sociedad, scheduled for February 14.

Surprisingly, a few days later, the newspaper The Times published an article claiming that Kylian Mbappé had ignored an offer from Real Madrid, arguing that the Whites were not going to dictate the terms of his future. Following this, Foot-Mercato, exclusively, reported an agreement between Real Madrid and the captain of the French national team, giving it as a matter of fact that he would be joining in June.

The contradictory news were mixed, as RMC Sport confirmed that Mbappé’s entourage had denied any kind of agreement with Real Madrid, also with PSG, claiming that “there was no kind of negotiation about his future.” The last to enter the scene was Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who gave several interviews in France on Tuesday in which he expressed confidence in the future of the club’s all-time top scorer.

“I want Kylian to stay, that’s clear. He’s the best player in the world, and the best thing for him is PSG. He’s the center of the project. Kylian is a great man, a great player, but also a great person. As he said after the Champions Trophy, he has an agreement with me. It’s between us, I don’t want to reveal what’s in this agreement, but there is an agreement. I don’t want to talk about money or say how much the agreement is worth. We have a ‘gentleman’s agreement,’ our agreement is not about money. It’s between a player and the club president, the sporting director, and the coach. It’s more than a signed agreement,” the Qatari said.

The content of the agreement that Al-Khelaifi and Mbappé signed in secret has not been revealed. The theories are many. The one that makes the most sense is a refusal by the footballer to collect the loyalty bonuses that are due to him, which amount to 80 million euros. Others have speculated that it is a gentleman’s agreement, as confirmed by the PSG president, in which there is a promise of sale with a one-year renewal. What is clear is that both parties have been ambiguous and have not revealed what they signed or agreed upon in the summer of 2023, just before being reintegrated into the first team’s dynamics after being dropped for his refusal to renew.

In the meantime, PSG has wanted to maintain its composure and does not want to obsess over Mbappé’s future. In Paris, there is total optimism, as happened in 2022, to sign a renewal agreement that will keep the best player in the world for many years. However, neither Al-Khelaifi nor any other leader wants to pressure the player, aware that every detail, no matter how small, plays a decisive role in a soap opera that has no end in sight for five years.

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