Paris Saint-Germain have granted Kylian Mbappe permission to discuss personal terms with Al Hilal after the Saudi Arabian outfit offered a world-record fee of around $332 million. The French champions have told the 24-year-old that he can enter into discussions with the Saudi Pro League club who intend to propose a massive pay deal worth $776 million, according to CBS Sports soccer insider James Benge. Central to Al Hilal's offer is the fact that Mbappe would still be able to join Real Madrid in 2024 which PSG suspect has already been agreed upon with a reported signing-on fee of around $178 million.
The French superstar is currently in Paris training with other undesirable Parisien players while his teammates are in Japan as part of an Asian summer tour which he is not part of. PSG's position remains the same: Mbappe can stay and be part of the project moving forward if he extends his current deal beyond its 2024 expiration date. The former Monaco man has already indicated to his current employers that he will not be actioning the potential option to extend his deal until 2025 under any circumstances. Mbappe and Al Hilal are yet to engage in direct discussions regarding a potential move while PSG's acceptance is conditional on Mbappe's.
We break down the latest in the saga over Mbappe's future.
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Is the Saudi offer real?
Yes -- Public Investment Fund-backed Al Hilal are keen to make Mbappe their most eye-catching signing yet and the Saudi giants were earmarked to be Lionel Messi's club before the . Saudi Pro League clubs are splashing the cash enormously this summer, but this would mark an entirely new level given the size of the potential transfer fee and the personal terms potentially on offer. This is a dream scenario for PSG who risk losing him for nothing next summer which they are determined to not allow to happen.
Would this be a new record?
The current world transfer record is held by PSG when Neymar arrived for around $245 million back in 2017 with Mbappe only second given that the total for his move from Monaco came to just under $200 million. Should the France international make the move to Al Hilal for the numbers being mentioned, then it would be a new -- and likely unassailable -- record deal which is an accolade that might appeal to Mbappe. Already one of the best-paid athletes on the planet, those wages would again take him to a new level but would require significant commercial deals in order to extract full value.
Will Mbappe really join Al Hilal?
It is too early to speculate as to whether or not Mbappe does actually make the move to Saudi Arabia but there is no doubt that this is a intriguing scenario. Suddenly, Al Hilal's interest not only puts pressure on Real to potentially act now to land the Frenchman but it also offers an alternative to potentially rotting on the sidelines in Paris this coming season without a new contract. No European clubs will be able to compete financially with Saudi riches, but the conformation that Mbappe is up for grabs could bring in some serious offers from clubs with financial clout from competitions such as the Premier League.
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What if Real move?
This is a possibility and one which should not be ruled out given that Real have known that a summer move could now be on the cards for Mbappe for a good month or so. Although getting the France international on a free transfer was the preferred solution, significant funds have been set aside to bring him to Santiago Bernabeu and those could be put to use. A loan with obligation to buy option should not be ruled out as it is how Mbappe joined PSG from Monaco after all, but there is no doubt that Real's preference would be to sign him without a transfer fee so that his signing on bonus goes directly to the player.
So it is done with PSG?
Last year's unexpected contract extension taught us that you should never say never with these things, but it seems unlikely that PSG and Mbappe continue together for much longer. This summer's deterioration is approaching a terminal state for their relationship and it is hard to see this being walked back even now. That said, there is no guarantee that Mbappe accepts Al Hilal nor Real making an offer to get him now for a fee. Should those two things fail to happen, either an unexpected suitor enters the conversation or PSG and Mbappe will be locked together for what would almost certainly be an unsavory final season on either side.