Opinion: Mbappé Kickstarts Pivotal Offseason for Paris Saint-Germain

Against all the odds, Paris Saint-Germain made official the extension of Kylian Mbappé until 2025, last Saturday. After many doubts, the Frenchman chose to play with PSG over Real Madrid.

Who could have guessed that the 23-year-old would extend his contract with the club of the capital as the narrative that has been for sold for over a year now is that he is destined to become a Real Madrid player?

But as recently as last summer, the French forward was closely linked to Los Blancos as many outlets confirmed that they made a late offer during deadline day that PSG rejected immediately.

After the summer transfer window closed, Mbappé confirmed he did request to leave PSG during an interview with Jérôme Rothen on RMC Sport: “I asked to go, and from that moment, I didn’t want to renew. I wanted the club to accept a transfer for me so that they could receive some money and look for a quality replacement.

After that sentence, everyone agreed that the player would ultimately leave PSG for free once the 2021-22 season concluded and his contract expired. At the time, it appeared to be a foolish decision. Losing a player of Mbappé’s quality without receiving a transfer fee for him was seen as potentially catastrophic for the capital club.

Seven months later, the risk taken by Paris Saint-Germain paid off and Mbappé has chosen to sign a new contract for three years.

But why the turnaround? PSG failed once again to win the UEFA Champions or even reach the semi-finals (they were knocked out in the Round of 16 by Real Madrid coincidentally). So, why the sudden change of heart? Why did Mbappé decide to stay at PSG and snub Real Madrid?

Many will point to the money Mbappé is expected to receive by signing a new deal with PSG. While the numbers of that contract haven’t been made official, the Frenchman’s mother, Fayza Lamari, assured everyone that money was not the motivating factor during an interview with KoraPlus: “The two offers are equal between Real Madrid and PSG. There are not many differences.”

 

Before the match against FC Metz last Saturday, the native of Bondy explained in front of the approximately 45,000 supporters in the stadium that he is delighted to continue the adventure in France, in Paris, in his city and that he always said that Paris was his home.

His desire to make history by becoming the club’s top scorer (currently second with 28 goals behind Edinson Cavani) and leading PSG to its first Champions League title likely motivated Mbappé to stay in his home city more than the money. Then there’s the sporting project, in which Mbappé will reportedly have a large say in.

Mbappé is also very concerned with his image rights, and with PSG ceding the majority of those rights to the player, it ensures that the superstar will not be featured alongside products and organizations he doesn’t want to be associated with.

Expectation

With the ink dry on Mbappé’s new contract, PSG must now focus on balancing the squad to become more competitive against the European elites.

Before the squad can be addressed, PSG needs a new sporting director as Leonardo is expected to be released and replaced with Luis Campos. PSG’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, could also be replaced after a lackluster season, but some reports indicate he could stay for another season.

While the summer transfer window isn’t open yet, many players are already being linked with a move to PSG, including Paul Pogba, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Ousmane Dembélé, and Hugo Ekitike.

It will be difficult to fix all of PSG’s on-the-pitch issues in one summer, but with Mbappé staying, he certainly has given the club an injection of positivity heading into the summer and fans around the world are already counting down the days until next season.

Tags Aurélien Tchouaméni Hugo Ekitike Kylian Mbappé Leonardo Mauricio Pochettino Ousmane Dembele Paul Pogba