Ranking every club by their chances of signing Kylian Mbappe as PSG 'accept' Al Hilal offer for French superstar
| Last updated
Kylian Mbappe's decision not to renew terms with PSG has created a huge debate over his next club, with the Frenchman being tipped to leave this summer ahead of his contract running out in 2024.
And today's stunning developments of a bid from Saudi Pro League outfit Al Hilal have only added to the feverish speculation over the 24-year-old, who is the subject of a remarkable €300 million offer to take him to last season's third-placed team in SPL.
Mbappe informed PSG of his decision earlier this summer, with L'Equipe being the first to report how the 24-year-old had written a letter to the club to confirm he would not take them up on the option of extending his contract for an additional year to 2025.
PSG do not intend to allow him to run the remaining year of his deal down, meaning they may be forced into a sale this summer or there is the possibility they could loan him out for the final year of his contract. The Ligue 1 giants remain of the belief that Mbappe has already agreed terms on a deal to move to Real Madrid next summer.
Mbappe has since responded with a statement to clarify his stance on his future but doubts remain over whether he will stay put.
And even with a potential move to Real on the cards at some stage, that will not dissuade Al Hilal from making a serious play to sign him now.
So, where could he potentially go? Below are the clubs that could be considered as the likeliest destinations based on pedigree, current European standing and financial clout ranked from least likely to most likely.
He has been mentioned as a potential Reds target almost as much as Jude Bellingham has but, the likelihood of him moving to Anfield looks pretty remote. The combination of wages and transfer fee put him out of Liverpool's league, who have a clear need to bolster their midfield amid Fabinho and Jordan Henderson's impending moves to Saudi Arabia. Jurgen Klopp has bigger priorities than adding to his attack this summer, simply put, and the outlay required makes this the unlikeliest destination on the list.
Gunners fans have mooted the possibility of Mbappe moving to the Emirates six years after first being linked with the club but the finances involved are again likely to have a significant impact here. Arsenal have already spent over £100 million to secure Declan Rice this summer and it's unlikely they would go anywhere near the sums required to finance a deal. There's no way they can stretch their summer spending on top of that to include Mbappe.
The La Liga giants need to raise money to sign new players and while La Liga approved the viability plan they presented in order to facilitate Lionel Messi's return before he eventually plumped for a move to Inter Miami, they still have problems with registering players within their squad and look like an unlikely candidate to enter any race to sign him.
6) Manchester City
It sounds unthinkable and, in fairness, you could probably separate the first four teams from the second four on this list, but there may be some rationale to City strengthening their attack with an elite addition next season. Bernardo Silva is a key target for PSG and so could potentially be used as leverage in any negotiations, while Riyad Mahrez is on the verge himself of securing a move to Al Ahli so Pep Guardiola is in need of frontline reinforcements. Still, with Erling Haaland leading the line, it's difficult to imagine both in the same setup. As fun as it might sound.
5) Bayern Munich
Finances would likely preclude any deal from happening but Bayern are a credible destination in terms of being one of the big European teams in clear need of a new striker, a theme that is consistent with the teams above them in this list. Dusan Vlahovic and Randal Kolo Muani are said to be their top targets and will also command hefty transfer fees but their wages would not be in the same league as Mbappe, whose pay packet at PSG is only affordable to a select few clubs in Europe.
If you look beyond the fact Chelsea won't compete in European football next season, there is an argument to be made for their credentials in any race to sign Mbappe this summer. Todd Boehly loves a vanity signing and they don't get much bigger than Mbappe, while the Blues' need for a new world-class striker is clear. They lack goals but have added Mbappe's compatriot Christopher Nkunku and an attacking setup with him playing off his international colleague is a pretty mouth-watering one. But Chelsea have other pressing areas of concern this summer too, not least midfield and in goal.
3) Manchester United
Chelsea's need for a striker is obvious but let's not forget Manchester United ended the season with Wout Weghorst among their options as the spearhead of their attack. With all due respect to the Dutchman, a club like United cannot find themselves in that position again anytime soon. They need a world-class forward to close the gap on Manchester City and while Rasmus Hojlun is their top target, any opportunity to sign Mbappe should be capitalised on if it presents itself. United, unlike Chelsea, can offer Champions League football and the possibility of Sheikh Jassim's takeover is an interesting subplot here given his links to Nasser Al-Khelaifi. The PSG owner insists he is not linked to Jassim's bid to buy out the Glazers but it will not dampen speculation around the possibility of a move for Mbappe being facilitated if he ends up there.
2) Al Hilal
The offer on the table is, frankly, absurd. Mbappe stands in line to pocket a potential £700 million across a year if he opts to move to the Saudi heavyweights but unlike a number of the players who have already opted to move there, the idea of one of the world's best two young star players choosing to spend a season in the Middle East would be seismic. The money will obviously be incredibly tempting for Mbappe but I still find it difficult to envisage how any move benefits him beyond the clear financial carrot being dangled. A season playing at an inferior level to where he should be at this stage of his career is hardly the best precursor for a move to the biggest club in the world, arguably, in Real. But it feels very much like a straight shootout now between selling out and heading to Saudi or hoping his dream move can somehow be worked out.
1) Real Madrid
Despite Al Hilal's offer, this still feels like it remains the most obvious destination even this summer. Real have tried to sign him before and the appreciation between both parties is a long-standing one. They have already had a significant outlay with the deal to sign Jude Bellingham this summer but Mbappe is the definition of a Galactico and would mean Real could push Manchester City in the Champions League next season. Karim Benzema's departure to pastures new in Saudi Arabia leave a gaping hole in the centre of Real's attack and while Kane is another potential option for them to pursue, Mbappe's age would surely mean Carlo Ancelotti's side would have their main striker nailed down for the long term. If PSG insist on selling him now to avoid losing him on a free, Real might try to negotiate a lower fee than the ludicrous sums presented by Al Hilal.