PARIS — Kylian Mbappé, one of soccer’s most-coveted players, is set to stay at Paris Saint-Germain after again turning down the chance to join Real Madrid.
France’s World Cup-winning forward has agreed to a three-year contract extension that is close to being signed, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the contract talks publicly.
The 23-year-old Mbappé’s contract is expiring in June and he would have been available on a free transfer.
Instead of joining 13-time European champion Madrid, which has chased him for so long, Mbappé is staying to try to deliver PSG its first Champions League title.
Madrid managed to beat PSG in the Champions League this season but not in the transfer market once again.
The Spanish giant’s failure to sign Mbappé is a significant blow for its president, Florentino Pérez, who has been trying to get the transfer over the line for a year.
The wealth of the club’s Qatar sovereign wealth fund ownership linked to the emir allows PSG to resist bids that could prove irresistible to other clubs without state funding.
The non-transfer reflects the shifting power dynamics in European football. Pérez was one of the architects of the European Super League breakaway from the UEFA Champions League that imploded within 48 hours in April 2021.
PSG opted out of joining the 12 Super League founders, allowing its president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, to gain one of the most powerful roles in the game as head of the European Club Association.
“It is an INSULT to soccer that PSG is going to renew Mbappé with huge quantities of money (who knows from where and how they will pay them) after losses of 700 million euros in recent seasons and more than 600 million euros in salaries,” he wrote on Twitter. “Al-Khelafi is as dangerous as the Super League.”
Mbappé, who starred for France at the 2018 World Cup, would have been a statement signing for Pérez — especially if he had lured Mbappé away from a team that emerged as a rival only in the last decade through its Qatari funding.