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Source AP: Mbappé will stay at PSG after rejecting Real Madrid | Sports News

By ROB HARRIS and JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writers

PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappé, one of football’s most coveted players, is set to stay at Paris Saint-Germain after once again turning down the chance to join Real Madrid.

The World Cup-winning French striker has agreed to a three-year contract extension which is about to be signed, a person with knowledge of the deal has told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the contract talks.

Mbappé, 23,’s contract expires in June and he would have been available on a free transfer.

Instead of joining 13-time European champions Madrid, who have been chasing him for so long, Mbappé is staying to try to deliver PSG their first Champions League title.

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Madrid managed to beat PSG in the Champions League this season but not yet in the transfer market.

The Spanish giants’ failure to sign Mbappé is a blow to its president, Florentino Pérez, who has been trying to push through the transfer for a year.

PSG turned down Madrid’s official offer of 180 million euros ($190 million) – the same amount for which Mbappé signed with Monaco in 2017 – and even another announced amount of 200 million euros (211 million) was not enough to sell his star despite having more than a year left on his contract. Mbappe said he wanted to leave at the end of last season but only on the right terms for PSG.

The wealth of the club’s Qatari sovereign wealth fund ownership linked to the Emir allows PSG to resist offers that could prove irresistible to other clubs without public funding.

The non-transfer reflects the changing power dynamics in European football. Pérez was one of the architects of the European Super League breakaway from the UEFA Champions League which imploded in 48 hours in April 2021.

PSG opted out of joining the 12 founders of the Super League, allowing its president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, to acquire one of the most powerful roles in the game at the helm of the European Club Association.

Pérez is still chasing his Super League dream in conflict with UEFA.

Meanwhile, Spanish league president Javier Tebas was furious.

“It is an INSULT to football that PSG are going to renew Mbappé with huge sums of money (who knows where and how they will pay them) after losses of 700 million euros in recent seasons and more than 600 million euros in wages,” he wrote on Twitter. “Al-Khelafi is as dangerous as the Super League.”

Mbappé, who played for France at the 2018 World Cup, would have been a statement signing for Pérez – especially if he had lured Mbappé away from a team that only emerged as a rival over the course of the past decade thanks to its Qatari funding.

But the energy expended to pursue the transfer and the optimism of Madrid, who are chasing their record 14th European Cup victory when they face Liverpool in next Saturday’s Champions League final in Paris, have not paid off. to nothing.

When Mbappé won the league’s best player award for the third time last Sunday, he said his decision was essentially made but did not say in which direction.

The tension between the clubs was evident when PSG were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Madrid in March – despite leading 2-0 on aggregate with two goals from Mbappé – and Al-Khelaifi remained under investigation by UEFA for allegedly confronting match officials. after the loss.

Madrid are thwarted again, having tried to sign Mbappé after he left Monaco in 2017 – and even before that.

He visited the Madrid facilities aged 14 and was welcomed by French great Zinedine Zidane, but chose to kick off his glittering career at Monaco instead.

Mbappé’s first professional goal came at the age of 17, 62 days, breaking the Monaco club record held by Thierry Henry.

Henry is France’s top scorer with 51. Mbappé already has 26 and could well overtake him as a PSG player.

He is PSG’s second top scorer with 168 and could surpass Edinson Cavani’s record of 200 next season.

He was looking to add to his league-leading tally of 25 later on Saturday in the season-ending home game against struggling Metz at the Parc des Princes, alongside team-mates Lionel Messi – the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner. Gold – and Neymar.

The scintillating attacking trio, who haven’t clicked as expected this season, will play together again next season.

However, Mbappé misses the chance to play alongside French team-mate Karim Benzema for Madrid in what would have been a devastating partnership and the envy of Europe. Over the past year they have been prolific together for Les Bleus and both scored as France won the Nations League final.

Another of the world’s most coveted young strikers is Erling Haaland, who is leaving Borussia Dortmund for English powerhouse Manchester City.

Harris reported from Manchester, England.

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