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Saudi Arabian Football Club Makes Record $1.1 Billion Bid for Kylian Mbappé

By Mara Lafontaine · July 26, 2023

In brief…

  • Saudi Arabian Football club Al Hilal has made a record $1.1 Billion bid for a one-year contract with Kylian Mbappé.
  • An ESPN FC interview discussed the possibility of Mbappe spending a year in Saudi Arabia, being loaned to another Premier League club, or going to Real Madrid a year earlier than anticipated.
  • It has been reported that Mbappé will not extend his contract with PSG, and that he has agreed to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2024.
  • PSG wants to sell now rather than risk losing Mbappé for less once his contract expires.
Kylian Mbappé in Russia  Кирилл Венедиктов, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

Al Hilal, the Saudi Arabian Football club, reportedly bid $1.1 Billion for a one-year package deal with mega-star Kylian Mbappé. The proposal includes a record $332 million transfer fee to Mbappé’s current club, Paris Saint-Germain plus $776 million in salary for Mbappé. News of the unprecedented bid stirred a frenzy of concern over Saudi Arabia’s deep pockets changing professional sports.

In a recent interview on ESPN FC, football journalists Julien Laurens and Sid Lowe discussed the likelihood of Mbappé prospects for the next year, which seemed to be sitting on the bench for a year until his contract expires, playing for Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia, playing on loan with another Premier League, or going to Real Madrid a year earlier than anticipated.

Mbappé announced that he would not extend his contract with PSG, and it was reported that Mbappé has reached an agreement to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2024. Consequently, PSG faces the choice of selling immediately or losing him for nothing once his contract expires. It has been widely reported that Real Madrid is the only club Mbappé wants to join. “It’s not Al-Hilal. It’s nowhere in Saudi. It’s not even anywhere else in Europe. It would only be Real Madrid if they were ready to welcome him now and not just a year from now,” said Laurens.

“Really and truly, it’s about getting to that end game with him at Real Madrid. The problem is, as Jules has said, it’s very, very difficult to do… For it to happen now, Real Madrid has to spend much more than they wanted to, for it to happen now, Kylian Mbappé has to earn significantly less money than he wanted to,” said Lowe.

It remains unclear if Real Madrid are prepared to pay to take him a year early. Laurens explained, “Why would you spend that money now when it’s there for you free? And by the way, I think if he goes for free next summer, the signing-on fee is going to probably be the biggest ever signing-on fee as any free agent, as any player, all sports together… So it won’t be free next season for Real Madrid either. But it might not be the 150 million that they would have to pay now.”

About Mbappe playing for Saudi Arabia, Lowe is doubtful. He said, “You get an offer from Saudi Arabia and it’s a huge offer and you think, ‘Wow, this is really big. This really is to be taken seriously.’ Except, of course, it’s an offer really and truly knowing that it’s unlikely to succeed.”