Analysis: Weighing up the asking price for Kylian Mbappe – should Real Madrid pull the trigger?

Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid, the saga that never ends. It seems that until this move happens, fans are destined, or condemned, to keep hearing about it. But should Real Madrid go all out to end it this summer?

Few players have turned down Real Madrid three times, if any, and he might be the only one on the list of players who Los Blancos were still keen on afterwards.

Paris Saint-Germain do not want to risk losing Mbappe for free this time, and have told him that he must either leave this summer, or renew his contract. The French captain has already told PSG that he will not exercise the option to extend his deal until 2024.

It does leave PSG in a weak position though, with any side able to take him for free unless a deal is done in the next two months. And yet the reported price tag they have set is €200m, as per Le Parisien via Diario AS. Even if Mbappe is set on seeing out that contract, as he claims, it seems unlikely he would turn down a move – unless perhaps it costs him significant money.

Mbappe reportedly has a €90m signing bonus due in September that he would miss out on were a deal to go through, without taking into account the contract bump he would receive for arriving as a free agent.

Were Real Madrid to go after Mbappe and spend that €200m, it would be an outlay in excess of €300m this summer, taking into account the arrivals of Jude Bellingham, Fran Garcia and Joselu Mato, but not counting wages and bonuses.

They would gain certainty. Real Madrid were convinced they had a deal tied up with Mbappe last summer, but until he signs on the dotted line, they are at risk of another U-turn. If Mbappe is a free agent, then the overall cost comes down and the ability of other sides to compete for him increases.

They would also have an immediate solution to the vacant hole up front left by Karim Benzema. It would be something of a surprise if they went into the season without a star striker, and they would be jeopardising their chances of success – which in turn brings significant financial bonuses too. Mbappe would be a long-term solution with re-sale value if need be, bringing in plenty of money.

Yet it would also fly in the face of their recent spending policy. Since Eden Hazard arrived, and left without much impact, Real Madrid have limited themselves to one major signing at most per summer window. Their strategy has been characterised by prudence of late, and it has served them well. Bringing in Mbappe this year would solve one problem, and perhaps prevent them from investing in the full-back positions next year if they are to assume that cost.

It is important not to underplay the optics of a deal this summer as well. Los Blancos could have had him for free two out of three summers, but would end up coming close to a world record transfer fee. The feeling of betrayal last time was such that Real Madrid will want to paint this move as Mbappe prostrating himself to join the mighty European kings, but spending €200m would be the polar opposite of that. Still worse, if they launch an offensive and miss out again. Florentino Perez would not countenance being burnt again.

Even so, having left the number nine shirt free so far, the logical conclusion is that Real Madrid feel they might bring in a big name at the position.

Signing Mbappe will be an exercise in weighing up the opportunity cost of bringing him in this summer as opposed to next. Perez has gone from a bombastic spender to a calculated strategist in the market, and the temptation of Mbappe will be the true test of how complete that transformation is. What makes financial sense might not be so sensible emotionally and on the pitch.

Tags Kylian Mbappe Paris Saint-Germain Real Madrid

1 Comment

Comments are closed

La Liga - Club News