Kylian Mbappe leaving PSG: Can Arsenal, Liverpool hijack Real Madrid's target? - Hindustan Times

Kylian Mbappe leaving PSG: Can Arsenal, Liverpool really hijack Real Madrid's long-time transfer target?

By, New Delhi
Feb 19, 2024 04:38 PM IST

According to reports, Kylian Mbappe is going to join Real Madrid for sure. No other club is in the race. But is that really the case?

Kylian Mbappe has decided to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season. This news, breaking a few days ago, wasn’t much of a surprise though. It was along the expected lines. All credible European media outlets are now reporting he is going to join Real Madrid for sure. No other club is in the race. But is that really the case?

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates the victory at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match vs Real Sociedad(AFP)
Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates the victory at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match vs Real Sociedad(AFP)

When a player of the calibre of Mbappe -- World Cup winner, World Cup runner-up and World Cup golden boot winner -- is out to find a new club, do you think he would only be in talks with one club? By many accounts, Real is where he wants to be, but it’s hard to believe that he is not meeting other suitors to at least discuss the possibilities. At present, Real president Florentino Perez looks an overwhelming favourite to secure Mbappe’s signature.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

But there are other big players in the fray too and don’t be surprised if the Frenchman decides to join another club, however unbelievable that may seem right now. Real are the most successful team in the history of La Liga having won 35 titles. Even in Europe's top-tier club competition, they have won a record 14 titles. This year too they are favourites to add another La Liga feather to their cap: at present, they are leading the points table with both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid having fallen behind significantly in the race. A player of Mbappe’s skill set will naturally want to be part of such a behemoth.

Another great Frenchman Zinedine Zidane with an Algerian connection – Mbappe’s mother has Algerian roots while Zidane’s both parents immigrated to France from Algeria -- had great success at Real in his playing days. Last year, when the French FA president ridiculed Zidane by saying that he wouldn’t pick up the phone if Zidane called him to discuss coaching Les Bleus, Mbappe was one of the prominent names from the football world who vehemently criticised the president. “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that,” Mbappe posted on X, then Twitter.

If Mbappe wants to represent Real, one can understand why. “I wanted to do everything like him, and as I didn’t know what baldness was, I asked the hairdresser to cut a round bit out of my hair. He thought I was mad,” Mbappe once famously revealed how he tried to wear a similar hairstyle as Zidane. While emotions are important, business aspects of a deal can’t be turned a blind eye to entirely. Manchester City are there with their deep pockets and they are not going to be just an onlooker in the whole development. The prospect of pairing Mbappe with Erling Haaland should drive them into some action.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who has breathed a lot of life into the club since joining them in 2019, too has shown massive interest. Liverpool have been interested in him for a long time. Reportedly, he once even met the owner of the club on a private jet. The Reds have all the more reason to go for Mbappe. Their talismanic manager Jurgen Klopp has decided to leave Anfield at the end of the season and Mbappe can fill the void that would certainly be felt by fans after the German genius left.

Last but not least, don’t rule out the possibility of a Saudi club running away with Mbappe. Last year, the 25-year-old had turned down an astronomical offer from Al-Hilal and made it clear he wasn’t going to be influenced by the Saudi money and be part of a league that has a long, long way to go before a player at the height of his power like Mbappe decides to go there. But then, anything can happen! Spanish media giant MARCA has reported Real have already signed Mbappe on a five-year deal. We will have to wait and watch to see if that’s true. Frankly speaking, football fans – excluding those of Real – known to have a penchant for gossip, will love some tussle, tugging over Mbappe over the next few weeks or even months. The thrill of the chase! It’s as good as watching a World Cup final. One can only hope he doesn't go to Real without some intrigue.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crick-it, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Quizzes, Polls & much more. Explore now!

See more

Catch all the Latest IPL 2024 news and Live Cricket Score along with WPL Schedule and WPL Points Table related updates on Hindustan Times Website and APPs

Share this article
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 26, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On