June 13, 2023 _ (Reuters) – Kylian Mbappe has told Paris St Germain he will not take up the option of a one-year extension in his contract when it expires next June, L’Equipe reported, with the France forward adding that the club had been notified of his decision last year.
Mbappe, a World Cup winner in 2018, confirmed his decision in a letter to the club and could even be sold this summer as PSG will seek to avoid losing him for free, according to the local reports.
The player would be free to negotiate and sign a pre-contract agreement with a new club from January should he decide to see out the remaining year of his deal at PSG.
In a statement sent to news agency AFP on Tuesday, Mbappe said PSG “were informed on July 15, 2022” of his decision not to extend his contract, adding that “the only aim of the letter was to confirm what had already been spoken about previously”.
On Tuesday, Mbappe dismissed reports saying he wanted to join Real Madrid in the close season transfer window, saying on Twitter: “I’ve already said that I’m going to continue next season at PSG where I’m very happy.”
If Mbappe sees out the remainder of his contract, PSG risk losing him for free at the end of the 2023-24 season. According to Swiss research group CIES Football Observatory, Mbappe is worth around 250 million euros ($270 million).
The French club, owned by Qatar Sports Investments, have already lost Lionel Messi on a free transfer after the Argentina forward left at the end of his two-year contract to join Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami.
PSG have not responded to a request for comment.
Mbappe was widely tipped to join Real Madrid last season but rejected a move to Spain to sign a contract extension with PSG.
The 24-year-old has long been admired by Real, who had a bid reported to be as high as 200 million euros ($215 million) turned down in 2021.
Real, who have already agreed a deal to sign England midfielder Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund, could step up their interest in Mbappe following striker Karim Benzema’s move to Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia.
Mbappe, one of the game’s finest talents who burst onto the scene as a teenager, has won five Ligue 1 titles with PSG but the Champions League trophy has remained out of reach.
PSG signed Mbappe from AS Monaco in 2017 in a deal reported to be around 180 million euros, making him the world’s second-most expensive signing after Neymar, who joined them from Barcelona for 222 million euros.
Mbappe became PSG’s all-time top scorer after netting 41 goals in 43 games in all competitions and helped the capital club win a record 11th French title.
He was named France captain after leading them to a second straight World Cup final in December, where he netted a hat-trick against Argentina before losing on penalties.
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(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad, Additional reporting by Janina Nuno Rios and Aadi Nair, editing by Pritha Sarkar, Peter Rutherford, Christian Radnedge)