Kylian Mbappe eyes Real Madrid after snubbing Saudi offer

PSG's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the French League One soccer match between Troyes and Paris Saint Germain, at the Stade de l'Aube, in Troyes, France

Kylian Mbappe will not be playing his football in Saudi Arabia next season – AP Photo/Lewis Joly

Kylian Mbappe has turned down his proposed £260 million switch to Saudi Arabia, with sources close to talks increasingly convinced he has agreed terms to join Real Madrid next year.

The forward is said to have refused discussion with Al-Hilal representatives who were expected in France after being given permission by Paris Saint-Germain to contact him.

His immediate answer comes amid as insiders say Mbappe remains determined to realise his dream of moving to Real Madrid in 11 months time when he can leave PSG as a free agent.

PSG, who put the player up for sale on Friday amid a breakdown in relations, are exploring alternatives to instead recoup some cash for one of the world’s best players.

Since the French champions put Mbappe on the market, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Inter Milan and Barcelona made contact, although sources close to United have since ruled themselves out of the running.

Offers from elsewhere are expected, with the prospect of potential player swaps also raised. Harry Kane would be one candidate, although the prospect of him joining Bayern Munich is seen as more likely.

Al-Hilal were the first to table their offer, which would have smashed the world record £198 million fee that PSG paid for Neymar in 2017. Reports that Mbappe had turned the offer were initially reported by L’Equipe, but then corroborated by sources close to talks.

The Saudi Pro League club, which was willing to offer Mbappe a deal worth £173.2 million a year, also missed out on Lionel Messi, despite offering him a proposed £320 million-a-year deal.

PSG have made it clear they want to include only players who are committed to the club. Mbappe, one of the best players in the world, has one year remaining on his contract and is unwilling to sign a new one.

His current club are known to have suspected for some time that he has already agreed to join Real Madrid for free next summer.  Talks with Madrid would be likely to revolve around whether the Spaniards can afford a deal to land their long-term target during the current transfer window. They declared a €11.8 million profit in their 2022/23 financial figures last week and revenue up to €843 million.

However, they have been told by Uefa that the sale of future broadcast rights and media assets – accounting for €360 million to Real’s figures – will not be considered as profit in Financial Fair Play.

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