Ligue 1

Mbappe Real Madrid, Osimhen Chelsea, Zirkzee Arsenal

Mbappe Real Madrid, Osimhen Chelsea, Zirkzee Arsenal

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There is no doubt Real Madrid are pushing to secure Kylian Mbappe this summer on a free transfer. It won’t surprise anyone if he joins. But as of Tuesday morning nothing is signed. It’s not impossible now that the window is shut for things to move quickly, but right now PSG don’t know Mbappe’s final decision and he has pledged to tell Nasser Al-Khelaifi first.

When Mbappe cleared the air with Al-Khelaifi over the summer he also made a binding commitment to forgo between €70-80m if he left on a free transfer. This means PSG are financially covered even if Mbappe departs.

The agreement isn’t just Mbappe waiving his loyalty bonus. It’s more complicated, and the amount PSG will recoup also depends on when exactly Mbappe goes. It could even be higher than the above ballpark, although sources indicate it won’t likely reach €100m or more.

Mbappe has a few things to iron out with Real Madrid if he is to formally sign. The first is his salary, since the Real offer is lower than PSG’s €70m-gross per year proposal. But it’s understood Mbappe is prepared to take a pay cut, especially since he will receive a significant signing-on fee.

The other factor is Real must give Mbappe permission to play in the Paris Olympics this summer. That’s a deal-breaker for Mbappe, who will also represent France at Euro 2024. It means he’ll be absent between June-August if training camps, games and rest are considered.

Mbappe is happy to enter into free agency, play in both tournaments, then resolve his future if need be. Should he agree to join Real, they could also request a later start date to save close to €20m in wages over a summer when Mbappe won’t be part of their pre-season.

There is no doubt Real are optimistic, and Mbappe has already said once he’s decided he won’t let things linger. But the first step is informing Al-Khelaifi and that hasn’t yet happened.

As an aside, those close to PSG also deny Mbappe’s potential move to Real Madrid is being used to try and lower the Ligue 1 rights package currently being negotiated by prospective broadcasters. They are well aware Mbappe might leave, either now or during the next cycle, so have already factored this into their offers. Those close…

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