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Faith Nyasuguta 

Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal have submitted a world-record bid for Kylian Mbappé, understood to be worth €300m ($332m), and are willing to pay the forward €200m for a one-season stay if that is what it takes to get the deal done.

The move comes after Paris Saint-Germain left Mbappé out of their squad for their pre-season tour of Japan, determined to sell him unless he signs a new contract. 

PSG will accept Al-Hilal’s offer but there have been no talks between Al-Hilal and Mbappé, and PSG remain convinced the 24-year-old has agreed terms to join Real Madrid on a free transfer next summer.

Al-Hilal will try to tempt Mbappé with a world-record €200m-a-year salary and his income could get closer to €700m a year with commercial arrangements and image rights. 

The club, mindful it may suit Mbappé to come for only one season, are open to a deal that – even by recent Saudi Pro League standards – would destroy football’s financial norms. Al-Hilal offered Lionel Messi more than £350m a year to join from PSG but the Argentina forward opted to move to Inter Miami.

It emerged in June that Mbappé had presented a formal letter to PSG, informing them he would not to take up the option of a one-year contract extension next summer. 

The club’s president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, said this month: “If Kylian wants to stay, we want him to stay. But he needs to sign a new contract. We don’t want to lose the best player in the world for free; we can’t do that.” Mbappé joined PSG from Monaco in 2018 for £166m.

Saudi Pro League clubs have been spending huge sums this summer to sign players from Europe. Al-Hilal are one of four teams in the country majority owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which also has majority ownership of Newcastle United, and have signed Rúben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Kalidou Koulibaly. 

They are closing on deals to buy the forwards Malcom and Aleksandar Mitrovic from Zenit St Petersburg and Fulham respectively.

Mbappé had appeared close to joining Real Madrid last summer before renewing his deal in Paris. The world-record fee is the €222m Barcelona received from PSG in 2017 for Neymar, whose contract is due to expire in June 2025.

Manchester United are not negotiating for Mbappé, their focus remaining on Rasmus Højlund of Atalanta.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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