Mbappe to join Real in ‘most expensive free transfer in history’

Kylian Mbappe will take a pay cut to join Real Madrid from Paris Saint-Germain this summer in a move that is already being described as “the most expensive free transfer in history”.

The France international, who has already told PSG he will leave the club at the end of this season, will become a Real player on July 1.

Real have held a long-term interest in the 25-year-old and are prepared to make him the highest-paid player in their history, although on a lower salary than he earns at PSG where his wages cost £171m per year.

Real are still negotiating the final details of Mbappe’s contract with terms not yet agreed.

“This will be the most expensive free transfer in history,” said Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol.

“The money that Real Madrid would have been paying as a transfer fee, they are basically going to be paying to the player instead. He will be getting a massive signing-on fee – there are reports in Spain that it could be over £100m.”

How Mbappe came to leave PSG

PSG turned down a £188m (€220m) offer for Mbappe from Real Madrid in August 2021. The forward then chose to sign a new three-year deal with the Ligue 1 club.

Mbappe looked set to join Real in May 2022 until he made a dramatic U-turn and signed a new two-year deal with PSG which prompted LaLiga to file a complaint to UEFA that the French club had broken FFP rules.

But his relationship with PSG soured after Mbappe informed the club he would not be triggering a contract extension through to the summer of 2025, meaning he would become a free agent in 2024.

Mbappe was frozen out and not included in the club’s pre-season tour after turning down Saudi club Al Hilal for a world-record transfer fee of £259m.

However, there was another twist on the eve of the new season when Mbappe was reinstated.

Mbappe has scored 244 goals and produced 93 assists in 291 games for PSG and won five Ligue 1 titles.

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‘No other clubs actively trying to sign Mbappe’

Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Real Madrid have been trying to sign Mbappe for about seven years. They are going to get him this summer.

“His entourage has been speaking to Real for the past three or four weeks trying to sort out a deal. It’s complicated because of the numbers involved.

“He will become the highest-paid played in Real’s history but he will have to take a wage cut. The amount he is earning at PSG is phenomenal.

“What Real will try to do is make it that he’s the highest paid there but fits into their wage structure. They’ll make it up to him by giving him big loyalty bonuses and a signing-on fee. They’re willing to do that because they’re getting him on a free transfer.

“The figure we’re talking about is more than £100m. He will be hitting the jackpot again but earning less than at PSG.

“I don’t think there’s any chance he will go anywhere apart from Real. There are no other clubs who are actively trying to sign him. And there is no indication whatsoever that he wants to go anywhere else other than Real Madrid.”

PSG's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his side's first goal from the penalty spot during the Champions League group F soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United FC at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

What’s next for PSG?

Mbappe’s departure will be the next step in PSG’s plan to move on from the individualistic Galacticos era, instead favouring a more youthful squad focused on the collective. This began when Neymar, Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Marco Verratti were allowed to move on.

The departure of Mbappe will free up funds for the club to replace their star player and it is understood there are already plans to make multiple signings this summer.

Warren Zaire-Emery, 17, and Bradley Barcola, 21, have kick-started PSG’s new project, with the French side boasting the youngest squad in the Champions League this season. Xavi Simons, 20, on loan at RB Leipzig, is another thought to be key to PSG’s future.

PSG are expected to offer renewals to Simons and Zaire-Emery, while Barcola signed from Lyon on a five-year deal in the summer.

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