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The transfer window may be closed but one of the biggest stories is where Kylian Mbappe will be playing next season. At the end of this campaign, Mbappe can leave Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer and after already coming close to joining Los Blancos in the past, all signs seem to point to Mbappe heading to Spain when all is said and done.

The general feeling is that while PSG would like to keep Mbappe in Paris, Madrid are doing everything that they can to secure his signature this summer. But it's a massive decision to make -- one where his availability to play at Euro 2024 and potentially the Olympics could play a part. He's free to sign a pre-contract now, but would clubs be willing to grant permission to play those two competitions? Mbappe could wait to sign until after the tournaments and not have to deal with red tape from the clubs in terms of permission. 

The rumors are picking up steam though. ESPN suggests that an announcement that Mbappe will be joining Madrid could come as soon as next week.

We've been here before between the two clubs as there has been constant discussion of if Mbappe will follow in Cristiano Ronaldo's footsteps to lead Los Blancos to a Champions League title, something that he hasn't been able to deliver at PSG despite winning the World Cup with France.

According to Le Parisien, there were actually three occasions cduring which Real Madrid almost signed Mbappe.

Circling with Monaco

Prior to Mbappe joining Monaco, Real Madrid took him on a week-long trial but Mbappe's family decided to go to Monaco. When he bursted on the scene with Monaco, Real Madrid came in again tabling a €180 million offer for the budding superstar. Always keeping an eye on top up-and-coming talent around the world, Madrid were in the mix but the lack of playing time guarantees were enough to sway things to a move to Paris.

A verbal agreement that didn't come to be

When Mbappe's contract was last set to expire in 2022, he reportedly already had a verbal agreement with Real Madrid that he'd join before signing an extension with PSG. This extension is what makes the current set of negotiations tenuous as everyone thought Mbappe would head to Real Madrid but it didn't end up happening. For most players, this may have been enough to end Los Blanco's interest but for a global icon like Mbappe, the door is never closed.

These negotiations are why Madrid are pushing so hard to get things done sooner than later because leaving things late could lead to another extension for PSG or even more offers from Saudi Arabia, who tested the waters during the summer with a massive $776 million wage offered by Al-Hilal. That offer still had flexibility for joining Real Madrid after a summer but with Mbappe wanting to participate in the 2024 Olympics with France, a similar deal could come back again.

Until he signs somewhere, nothing is definite and the rumor mill will surely be continuing to spin until that moment arrives.