Mbappe rejects Real Madrid, signs new 3-year deal with PSG
Kylian Mbappe's winding transfer saga is over.
Despite reportedly agreeing to personal terms with Real Madrid earlier in the week, the French superstar stunningly reversed course Saturday, signing a new three-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
The 23-year-old was widely expected to land at the Santiago Bernabeu upon the expiration of his deal this summer. Instead, he's inked a fresh pact to remain in Paris until June 2025.
The deal will make him one of the highest-paid players in football history, according to Tariq Panja of The New York Times.
"I am convinced that here I can continue to grow at a club that provides everything necessary to perform at the highest level," Mbappe said in a statement. "I am also delighted to continue to play in France, the country where I was born, where I have grown up, and where I have made my name."
Real Madrid were initially confident they had persuaded Mbappe to move to the Spanish capital. Their offer included a signing bonus of nearly $140 million, a net annual salary exceeding $26 million, and complete control of his lucrative image rights, Panja reports.
But a "much-improved" late offer from PSG played a key role in forcing his change of heart, sources told Julien Laurens and Rodrigo Faez of ESPN, with Real Madrid reportedly growing pessimistic about their deal in recent days. Mbappe personally called Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to inform him of his decision Saturday, according to multiple reports.
The move highlights the sport's continued power shift away from legacy clubs like Real Madrid toward teams backed by oil-rich states - such as PSG. Outspoken La Liga president Javier Tebas branded the signing as an "insult to football."
Missing out on the coveted forward is a huge blow to Los Blancos, who made Mbappe their primary target and pushed hard to land him last summer. PSG rejected a series of increasingly opulent offers before the season; the Spanish club's final bid was reportedly worth up to €200 million.
PSG sporting director Leonardo publicly criticized Madrid in October for showing a "lack of respect" in their handling of the pursuit.
Mbappe had remained tight-lipped about his future, even after the French giants were drawn against Madrid in this season's Champions League.
Mbappe - who has 169 goals and 79 assists in all competitions for PSG since joining them from AS Monaco for an eventual €180-million fee in 2017 - scored in each leg of their eventual last-16 ouster.
He'll now continue to spearhead PSG's protracted pursuit of an elusive Champions League title.