Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 바카라 striker Kylian Mbappe (24) is on the transfer market again this summer, as he was last year. With one year left on his contract, Real Madrid (Spain), Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia) and Chelsea (England) are reportedly trying to sign him.

“Several clubs are reportedly trying to sign Mbappe, who has been excluded from the Asian tour, or have already made offers,” France’s RMC Sport said on 22 June, “including Chelsea and Al-Hilal.” “Mbappe has a lot of fans in the English Premier League (EPL),” he continued, adding that “Chelsea have made enquiries, but no concrete offers have been made.”

Al-Hilal is also in the mix. “The Saudi club is ready to offer a two-year, €400 million ($574 million) deal for Mbappe,” the publication said. PSG, of course, think Mbappe will leave for Real in 2025.” Al Hilal have already signed Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Leo Varane, and Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer transfer window alone. They are also home to South Korea international Jang Hyun-soo.

Mbappe’s relationship with PSG remains fraught. It began in June when Mbappe announced that he would not be exercising his contract extension option. Mbappe had signed a new three-year contract at the end of May, extending his stay with PSG until 2022. However, in May, French outlet L’Equipe claimed that “the contract signed by Mbappe and PSG at the time was a two-year deal, with a player option”. At the end of the season, Mbappe released a statement via AFP, publicly declaring that he would not be exercising his option. Mbappe had until the end of July to decide whether or not to exercise his player option, but his early refusal to sign an extension sparked controversy.

Mbappe, who was named the best French player of the 2022-23 season by French outlet L’Equipe and France Football on 8 August, said: “I don’t know what PSG needs to do to win the UEFA Champions League (UCL). I just try to do my job as best I can,” he said, adding, “In my opinion, playing for PSG doesn’t help. It’s a separate team,” further exacerbating public opinion.

Luis Enrique (right) with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Photo via PSG social media

“If Mbappe wants to stay, we want him to stay,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said at Luis Enrique’s inauguration six days earlier, “but he has to sign a new contract. We cannot allow the best player in the world to leave as a free agent.” There have also been calls for a decision to be made in mid-July, especially before the start of pre-season. However, Mbappe still hasn’t said anything other than “I will stay for the 2023-24 season”. Earlier, Le Parisien reported that “Mbappe will wear a Real shirt in 2023-24,” a claim that the player refuted as “fake news” via his social media accounts. He then reiterated that he would be wearing a PSG shirt in 2023-24. There was no word on the following season. He was also coy about re-signing with PSG. Eventually, PSG took a hard line by excluding him from their pre-season Asian tour. CBS Sports then claimed that “PSG are ready to leave him out of their UCL squad”.

Still, Mbappe has the advantage. He’s already earning a hefty salary from last year’s contract extension. At the end of the 2023-24 season, he will be free to move to any club without a transfer fee. No club would want the Ligue 1 top scorer for five consecutive seasons. Sky Sports in the UK said the previous day: “Mbappe is prepared to sit on the bench until he becomes a free agent next summer despite the club’s strong reaction. He is captain of the France national team and has the UEFA European Championships (Euros) on the horizon, but that will not change.”

The best-case scenario for PSG would be for Mbappe to sign a new contract or leave the club for a hefty transfer fee. Earlier, local media reported that “PSG will want at least €200 million for Mbappe”. However, the situation now seems to be leading to a worst-case scenario in which Mbappe keeps his huge salary and doesn’t play. It’s hard to imagine a club spending a €200 million transfer fee on a player with a year left on his contract.

Meanwhile, PSG’s tour of Japan begins with a clash with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nasr in Tokyo on the 25th. They will then face Cerezo Osaka on the 28th and Inter Milan on the 1st of next month before travelling to Busan to play a friendly against Jeonbuk Hyundai on the 3rd. Lee Kang-in, who made his debut in a practice match against Le Havre on the 22nd, had appeared to be in doubt for the tour due to injury, but has been included in the squad heading to Japan. The exact nature of his injury is still unknown. It’s unlikely we’ll see a picture of Mbappe scoring goals off of Lee’s passes this preseason. Neymar is also reportedly still not at full fitness after suffering an injury at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Lee Kang-in on his unofficial debut for PSG. Photo: PSG social media

A video of Lee in training released on PSG’s website and social media on 12 December. Photo: PSG

A video of Lee in training, released on PSG’s website and social media on 12 December. 사진=PSG

Lee Kang-in in training on the 12th, released on PSG’s website and social media. 사진=PSG

Lee Kang-in on PSG’s social media on the 23rd. He joined the team for the Japan tour. Photo: PSG SNS

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