Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid & Cristiano Ronaldo to PSG? Spanish reports running wild

By | August 16, 2021

If you thought that Lionel Messi joining Paris Saint-Germain couldn’t possibly be topped during this summer’s transfer window, there might still be one or two surprises coming in the final two weeks before the Aug. 31 transfer deadline, according to reports in Spain.

The rumor mill indicates that Kylian Mbappe, who has a year remaining on his contract with PSG, has requested a meeting with the club’s president to discuss his future, which reports say will see him eventually move to Real Madrid, whether it’s this summer or next.

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If Mbappe is focused on joining Real Madrid and PSG does not transfer him this summer, the club risks losing him for free next year upon the expiration of his contract in June 2022. That might be a price that the club is willing to pay in order to have the 22-year-old available to help Messi and Neymar lead the club to its first-ever UEFA Champions League trophy this year. But PSG could also use any cash from a proposed transfer to replace him, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s name has come up in the last 24 hours.

Although reports about Mbappe and Real Madrid having an agreement in place surfaced earlier in the summer, all the recent Mbappe to Real Madrid chatter has been coming from Spain. However, none of the reports have been substantiated by the main French outlets.

Spanish sports daily Marca had Mbappe on its Monday cover with the title “The Final Stretch: The operation for the potential signing of Mbappe with Real Madrid enters into a decisive phase this week.”

Could Mbappe to Real Madrid happen?

Real Madrid’s financial challenges resulting from the pandemic and PSG’s deep pockets and resulting lack of urgency to sell one of its best players combine to make this a bit difficult to see. But losing a valuable player for nothing next year might be a scenario that even a club as rich as PSG can’t stomach.

And supplying oxygen to the rumors were two incidents in recent days that occurred in Paris. First, Mbappe was jeered by his hometown PSG crowd when his name and number were shown on the video screen at the club’s first home match of the year:

Then, there was Mbappe’s conspicuous absence from a photo from Ander Herrera’s birthday party which featured all the club’s stars:

While there has been no news from Mbappe’s camp and Real Madrid has been quiet, at Messi’s presentation last week, PSG’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi sounded confident about Mbappe staying on with his hometown club.

“I think everybody knows the future of Kylian,” Al-Khelaifi said. “He’s a really competitive player. He wants to win and win trophies. He stated it publicly. He wanted a competitive team and I think we have the most competitive team in the world. There’s no excuse for him now. He can’t do anything else but stay.”

Mbappe, who won the 2018 World Cup with France, has been an important player for PSG since arriving on loan from AS Monaco in 2017 and then sealing his move permanently a year later. He has 92 goals for PSG in 109 Ligue 1 matches and another 21 goals in 36 UEFA Champions League contests.

PSG acquired Mbappe from Monaco in a transfer deal that reportedly cost them over $200 million, including add-ons and bonuses. The club would be in line for a loss if Real Madrid’s proposed transfer fee of $140 million is to be believed.

Cristiano Ronaldo to replace Mbappe?

As much as losing Mbappe would be considered a blow to PSG’s Champions League hopes this year, it would also be a hit to the team’s reputation to have a young world superstar turn his back on his hometown team.

But PSG can turn the narrative around pretty quickly if the suggested backup move materializes. Reports earlier on Monday indicated that, if PSG accepted Real Madrid’s cash, it would turn around and acquire Ronaldo from Juventus. The club may not be entirely against letting its big-money star walk given its own financial issues and three years of falling short in the Champions League with Ronaldo.

It would be must-see TV to have Ronaldo and Messi playing on the same team, but French journalist Loic Tanzi was pouring cold water over that scenario, stating that “today Ronaldo is not an option for [PSG] this summer” and adding that the club doesn’t want to transfer Mbappe.