Kylian Mbappe has no desire to meet with representatives from Al Hilal.
PSG accepted a world-record bid of €300 million (£259 million) from the Saudi Pro League team on Monday, with the Ligue 1 juggernaut eager to unload Mbappe to avoid losing him for nothing next summer.
Mbappe, 24, has already announced that he will not exercise the 12-month option in his PSG contract, leaving the club with no choice except to try to arrange a move for him before the September 1 transfer deadline.
The 2022 World Cup Golden Boot winner was made available by PSG for €200 million (£171 million), anticipating that longtime admirers Real Madrid would make a bid. However, source disclosed on Monday that Al Hilal, who is supported by the PIF, had submitted a proposal that was enormously over the asking price.
However, there were soon questions raised about Mbappe’s willingness to negotiate with Al Hilal given his enduring love for Real Madrid and his cordial relationship with the president, Florentino Perez.
Sources have now confirmed that Mbappe and his mother, who is also his agent, have informed a delegation from Al Hilal that they have no interest in discussing personal terms – despite the Saudi club’s willingness to make him one of the highest-paid athletes in the world – and have ‘zero interest’ in leaving Europe at this time.
Mbappe does intend to compete at the highest level for as long as he can, which would appear to preclude him from moving to the Middle East anytime soon. He may play in Saudi Arabia later in his career, but for the time being, he wants to build his reputation at a higher level of competition.
Al Hilal’s pursuit of Mbappe hasn’t troubled Real Madrid thus far, but they might yet try to persuade PSG to sell this summer for a lower price. The 14-time Champions League champions know that if they decide to hold off, they can negotiate Mbappe’s price even lower when only six months of his PSG contract remain, or they can agree to sign him to a pre-contract agreement in January.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of PSG, is determined to prevent that circumstance at all costs. He has given intermediaries the task of encouraging interest in Mbappe from the rest of European football’s top brass. Any bid from a party that is interested, however, could be ineffective given the sum of money at stake and the player’s unique desire to move to Madrid.
Unlike his PSG teammate Marco Verratti, Mbappe does not have any plans to travel to Saudi Arabia. According to a multiple source, Al Hilal are about to offer the Italian midfielder a hefty three-year contract to entice him to Riyadh.
Verratti would make a tough-looking midfield trio with Ruben Neves and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic if he joined, as is increasingly anticipated. In order to bolster their defense, Al Hilal had already acquired Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea.