The 24-year old captain of the France, Kylian Mbappé has been reportedly offered a record-breaking $332M to sign with Saudi Arabian team, Al Hilal. Paris Saint-Germain has confirmed the offer for its player and has given Al-Hilal permission to open negotiations directly with Mbappé.
The current world record fee paid by a team is $262 million (€222 million). This was when Neymar moved from Barcelona to PSG in 2017. If Mbappé does make the transfer he will have two of the three highest fees paid for a player, after joining PSG from Monaco for £166m in 2017.
Mbappé has a year left on his contract with French club PSG who he has been with for close to six years. Earlier, Mbappé refused to re-sign with PSG and the team did not select him for their preseason tour of Japan.
It is widely expected that Mbappé will walk away as a free agent at the end of the upcoming season, with his most likely landing spot Real Madrid. While PSG seems ready and willing to sell the French superstar, Mbappé will have control over which club he plays for as he has veto power on any move if it doesn’t meet his approval.
Al Hilal reached both the FIFA Club World Cup and the AFC Champions League finals last season. The Saudi Public Investment Fund owns and has made four Saudi clubs into companies, and Al-Hilal is one of them. The PIF is a government-controlled fund that has $650 billion in assets under management.
Other Landing Spots For Mbappé
Over five other teams have reportedly been interested in signing Mbappé, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Real Madrid. Inter Milan and Barcelona have also been said to be in the mix.
United have been in dire need of a quality striker since the departure of Christiano Ronaldo midway through last season. Similarly, Chelsea has been lacking offense, scoring just 38 goals last year and finishing in 12th place.
The Spurs could end up losing Harry Kane this summer to Bayern Munich which could leave a huge hole in their team. Mbappé might be the perfect fit to keep Tottenham in a strong position in the EPL.
“Arguably, Mbappé’s most likely destination is Real Madrid, who have already made a number of offers for the Frenchman but have been turned down so far. There has also been interest from Barcelona and Inter Milan who have made contact with PSG. A switch to Barcelona would come as a major shock given Mbappé’s admiration for their rivals Madrid.
Overall, the Mbappé sweepstakes is expected to be very highly contested. Indeed, he is one of the best players in the world up for grabs in his very prime.
Saudi Arabia Making Big Moves in Football
Saudi Arabia has recently made a series of big bids on football players, attempting to bring star power into their domestic league. The league has already attracted multiple superstars such as Christiano Ronaldo. He agreed to join Al-Nassr last December and Karim Benzema who signed with Saudi champion Al-Ittihad. 2018 World Cup winner N’Golo Kante also joined Benzema at Al-Ittihad last month. The Saudis did however fail in an attempt to sign Argentinian star Lionel Messi. Instead, he joined Inter Miami in the MLS.
Many have criticized Saudi Arabia and their attempt to lure big stars into their league using massive salaries. It is reported that the salaries and commercial deals for Ronaldo, Benzema and Kante could earn them a combined figure of nearly $1 billion.
The new Saudi Premier League season kicks off on August 11th.