Paris Saint-Germain are expected to compete for the elusive UEFA Champions League title with their new additions and their already talented roster.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, center-back Sergio Ramos, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma — who won Player of the Tournament at Euro 2020 — and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum arrived on free transfers. Right-back Achraf Hakimi arrived from Serie A champions Inter Milan for $70 million, an extra $12 million can be reached with add-ons. Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé were going to form the M-N-M frontline and become one of the greatest triumvirates in soccer history. Now there’s a possibility that it will never happen.
The Transfer Saga
Mbappé, who has one year remaining in his contract, wants to join Real Madrid. Instead of leaving Paris as a free agent next summer, he is reportedly ready to leave immediately. The 2018 World Cup winner does not want to be considered the third fiddle in the attacking unit or the club. He would rather realize his boyhood dream of playing for Los Blancos, even if it means that he will leaving a side that has the potential to be one of the greatest teams we’ve ever seen.
On August 25, the 13-time European champions submitted a bid of $188 million for the 22-year-old. It was quickly rejected. The Parisians felt like the valuation was too low and they needed to at least break even on the $212 million that they spent to sign the 2017 Golden Boy from Monaco. Eventually, many rumors began to circulate around the transfer and PSG decided to speak publicly about the situation.
“Kylian Mbappé feels like leaving; this seems clear to me. Our goal is to extend and keep him. If a player wants to leave, it must be under our terms. This applies not just to Kylian, but to all players,” said PSG sporting director Leonardo to RMC Sport.
In the interview, Leonardo also claims that Real Madrid have been illegally contacting Mbappé for two years, how the French international promised he would not leave for free and the offer coming in a week before the transfer window ends was a strategic way to show that the 34-time La Liga winners, a record, are doing everything to sign the forward before 2022. Since then, another bid of $200 million has been sent, with $11 million in add-ons included, and the 2020 Champions League finalists may accept the offer.
There Is No I In Team
The ego of an individual can get in the way of team success periodically. Some athletes are worried about making their brands bigger instead of focusing on winning. When they do win, they want to be considered the focal point of the squad instead of a cog in the machine. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal ended the Los Angeles Lakers’ dynasty because Bryant had to show the masses that he could be the best player on a championship team. Scottie Pippen is now saying that he was the real leader of the Chicago Bulls when they won six NBA championships in eight years, and that he was just as good as Michael Jordan because he is tired of still being considered a sidekick more than two decades later. Neymar left Barcelona for PSG because he wanted to have a club revolve around him and knew he would never win the Ballon d’Or with Messi as his teammate.
The Return of the Galacticos
It now seems like the Brazilian has found peace with never winning the most prestigious individual award in the sport because he recruited the 2021 Copa America champion to come to Paris. Maybe Mbappé wants to go to Spain now because Real Madrid president Florentino Perez told the three-time Ligue 1 top goal scorer that the best time to come is now for Financial Fair Play reasons. Renovation at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium should be completed next year. Los Blancos may embark in a new era of the Galacticos to usher in their fans back into the arena. To make sure the budget is balanced, the two-time French Player of the Year needed to go in the current campaign.
Next year, the 19-time Copa del Rey winners must spend big to rebuild an aging roster. 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, winger Gareth Bale, left-back Marcelo and midfielder Isco’s contracts will come off the books. Midfielders Paul Pogba, Eduardo Camavinga and Pedri are slated to be the marquee free agents. Striker Erling Haaland will be ready to leave Borussia Dortmund.
Also, with Messi leaving Barcelona, Mbappé would immediately become the new face of La Liga. Whatever the reason, it is a travesty if we’ll never see the MNM trio together outside of clips from training sessions.
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