Liverpool and Real Madrid’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe has received a significant boost, as reports indicate that Paris Saint-Germain are considering Rafael Leao as a replacement for their all-time leading goalscorer.
Mbappe’s contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the season, a result of his decision not to extend it the previous summer. This choice led to the 25-year-old being temporarily excluded from the first-team squad in the French capital.
The initial fanfare surrounding Mbappe’s contract extension in May 2022, where he proudly displayed a shirt with “MBAPPE 2025,” proved to be misleading. The reported £1 million per week deal was, in fact, only valid until 2024.
Furthermore, Mbappe retained the sole right to extend the contract for an additional year. PSG anticipated his exercise of this option to facilitate a summer 2024 transfer with a corresponding fee.
However, Mbappe has not opted for an extension, signaling his likely departure at the end of the current season after a prolific seven-year tenure with PSG.
In response to Mbappe’s decision not to extend, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi negotiated a world record £259 million deal with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal. Despite the lucrative offer, Mbappe declined the move, leaving his future destination uncertain.
Real Madrid have often been considered the most probable destination for Mbappe’s next club. The French captain is reportedly interested in a long-term move to La Liga. However, Liverpool executives have been keeping a close eye on the situation.
In Paris, there are apparent plans to replace Mbappe at the end of the season, providing a significant boost to clubs interested in acquiring Mbappe.
Portugal winger Rafael Leao holds a £150 million release clause in his AC Milan contract. Despite a slightly underwhelming season at 24 years old, Leao remains one of the most dynamic talents in European football.
According to Telefoot journalist Saber Desfarges, PSG are actively looking at Leao as a potential replacement for Mbappe in the upcoming summer transfer window.
PSG’s Football Advisor, Luis Campos, is known to be an admirer of Leao, having signed him for Lille in 2018. The report suggests that Leao is aware of PSG’s interest and is enthusiastic about making the move.
Consequently, the club are taking concrete steps to secure the attacker’s signature in the summer. Interestingly, Telefoot also mentions Newcastle’s interest in Leao.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “I’m aware there have been some links with Rafael Leao and PSG.
“Luis Campos is the director who signed Leao at Lille, one of his incredible signings, so appreciating him is normal, but at PSG summer plans will be made in the next months.
“It’s still early to predict what they will do, it depends on how this season will go and also on the Kylian Mbappe situation.”
A potential agreement for Leao is intricately tied to Mbappe’s potential exit. While completing such a significant transfer would be a major accomplishment, both Liverpool and, naturally, Madrid can find solace in the indication that PSG seems to be making efforts to fill the void left by their unsettled superstar.