Kylian Mbappe’s future remains uncertain.
While teammate Neymar Jnr may have signed on for a lucrative contract extension, France international Mbappe is yet to pen a new deal at Paris Saint-Germain, which was reported earlier in the year as close to £ 600,000. per week.
In normal times, it would be safe to assume that Barcelona and Real Madrid would have flexed their muscles and used their stature as the ultimate European football destination clubs for top players. But these are not normal times and the impact of the pandemic on Barca and Real’s finances means adding those salaries to their payrolls and paying the kind of money that would be needed to land Mbappe is simply out of the question for now.
This has opened the door for speculation to link Mbappe, a generational talent, to a host of other clubs, with Liverpool often mentioned as a potential destination in the French press.
From a competitive point of view, why not? They are one of the biggest clubs in the world, won the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League in 2020, and they have one of the most respected coaches in European football at the helm in Jurgen Klopp.
From a financial standpoint, it’s getting harder to argue that this is the kind of deal Fenway Sports Group would pursue this summer.
The Reds lost £ 46million pre-tax when their financial accounts were revealed last month, and that figure will likely be even higher when the accounts for the year ending May 2021 arrive early next year , with the 12-month impact of the pandemic. laid bare.
It has been said that Mbappe wanted to settle his future after Euro 2020, with French newspaper Le Parisien claiming the striker is unwilling to sign a long-term deal at PSG, instead raising the possibility of him signing a one-year extension until 2023, beyond the end of his current contract which expires in 2022, a move that would allow PSG to do so. cash it at a time when the financial situation of European football will be, the clubs hope, somewhat settled.
The Parisian also says Liverpool are among the clubs that remain interested, but to what extent that interest is rooted in their ability to secure the deal financially is questionable.
A move from Mbappe would be the biggest European football can make, the French striker is expected to be a dominant force at the top of the game for the next decade, along with Erling Haaland.
Clubs don’t just pay for phenomenal talent, they pay for the commercialization that Mbappe brings, with Nike even recognizing his appeal by making him one of their ‘two chosen athletes’, alongside their partner FSG and basketball superstar LeBron James, latest marketing strategy.
Liverpool, James and Nike already have a close relationship which could be used to provide leverage if the Reds had an interest.
But unless FSG is willing to completely skew their salary structure and spend more than ever before on a player, over £ 100million, then it’s hard to see how the relationship, as good between Nike, Mbappe and James, could to overcome this particular hurdle.
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Mbappe’s reports signing an extension make sense.
PSG will know they can’t keep it forever, the French league is just not of the quality of England, Spain, Italy and Germany and Mbappe will know for really get up against some of the bigger ones. names for playing the game he’ll need to challenge himself in another country, and there’s no better league than the Premier League. It’s something that works in Liverpool’s favor.
But PSG won’t want to let him go for less than he thinks either. The pandemic has driven values down and the transfer market has become more flexible, with clubs more reluctant to spend big as they struggle with declining income streams and still face uncertainty as to when. the game will manage to get back on a level playing field.
Looking at 2022, it seems likely that football is still in its recovery phase and confidence may not return until the following seasons, if not a little longer.
But if Mbappe doesn’t want to commit to 2025, like Neymar did, then 2023 seems to be the limit. PSG know that not having Real Madrid and Barcelona in the market weakens the price, while there are a host of clubs losing tens of millions who won’t be as keen to spend that money as they are. would have been in 2019.
On the one hand, could now offer Liverpool the best chance to land someone like Mbappe, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are irrelevant. But given that the Reds were not immune to the financial effects, which would only exacerbate if they missed out on the Champions League, it’s hard to see the notoriously frugal FSG engaging in such expenses, unless they lose a star of their own.
Football will likely manage to stabilize in a few years and the market could rebound, although the levels to which fees would have been in 2023 will be reduced in part due to the past 12 months or so, which many will consider as one. positive points to come out of such a difficult situation.
A look at Harry Kane’s potential departure from Spurs tells the story of a market that just isn’t as strong.
Before the pandemic it would have been over £ 150million for someone like Kane, that figure will likely be £ 50million less than that, and Real Madrid and Barcelona options are apparently not on the table .
A look at the direction Kane could take this summer could tell the story of what will happen with Mbappe.
Lower-than-expected fees for one of the best strikers in the world could convince PSG to come up with a shorter-term deal in order to cash in later. It’s hard to see a market where Kane and Mbappe are moving at the same time. The viable options just don’t seem to be there.