Paris St.-Germain has convinced Kylian Mbappé to sign a new contract, one of the richest in soccer history, that will keep the French striker at the club for the next three years while he pursues a second straight World Cup with France and attempts to end the club’s string of failures in the Champions League.
His decision ended Real Madrid’s hopes of luring Mbappé, arguably the best young player in the world, to the most successful team in European soccer.
Real Madrid, a 13-time European champion, had made Mbappé a contract offer that would have made the 23-year-old forward the highest paid player in its history. Its offer included a signing bonus of almost $140 million, a salary of more than $26 million every season and complete control over his image rights.
But P.S.G., the perennial French champion that is bankrolled by gas-rich Qatar, prevented him from leaving as a free agent by offering even better terms. P.S.G. offered a similar fee to sign but a far higher base salary, keeping him in a team that already includes the Argentine star Lionel Messi and the Brazilian forward Neymar, who was acquired by P.S.G. for a world-record fee of $263 million in 2017.
P.S.G. is expected to announce Mbappé’s decision to re-sign with the club as soon as Saturday night. Mbappé informed Real Madrid earlier Saturday that he would not be coming.
P.S.G.’s success in convincing Mbappé to stay rather than join Real Madrid is the latest sign of the dominance of global soccer wielded by a small group of elite clubs, and especially a handful of Gulf-backed teams. P.S.G.’s confirmation that it had retained Mbappé came just over a week after Manchester City, owned by the brother of the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, confirmed that it had acquired Erling Haaland — a prolific Norwegian goal-scorer whose signature was considered by many an acquisition as highly sought-after as Mbappé’s.