Al-Hilal give up Kylian Mbappe pursuit to make monster ‘£171m offer’ for Man Utd target

Joe Williams
Man Utd target Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen has been linked with a move to Al-Hilal.

Al-Hilal have given up their pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe to pursue Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, according to reports.

Reports yesterday claimed Mbappe and his representatives refused to meet with Al-Hilal officials in Paris on Wednesday to discuss a possible world-record transfer to Saudi Arabia.

Mbappe’s club PSG are understood to have given the Saudi Pro League side permission to speak with the France striker over personal terms after receiving a £259million bid for the player in writing.

An Al Hilal delegation was reported to have been hoping to sell their project to Mbappe in Paris while finalising the signing of Brazil striker Malcom from Zenit St Petersburg.

But, according to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Mbappe and his team have refused to enter into any discussions with the Saudi club and he has never considered the option.

Mbappe’s PSG future has been in serious doubt since it emerged in June that he would not extend his existing deal through to 2025, meaning he would become a free agent next summer and be able to discuss a pre-contract agreement with another club as early as January.

READ MORE: Kylian Mbappe: The ridiculous statistics of the summer transfer window’s most-wanted star

PSG have not confirmed the reports that Mbappe has snubbed Al Hilal’s approach, but are understood to be convinced that Mbappe has already agreed a free transfer to Real Madrid next summer.

And now L’Equipe journalist Loic Tanzi is claiming that Al-Hilal have now moved on to Osimhen, who has been heavily linked with Man Utd over the last couple of years.

Tanzi tweeted: “After the failure of their attempt on Mbappe, Al-Hilal will position themselves very quickly on Victor Osimhen.”

And Corriere Della Sera insists there has been a €200m (£171m) offer from the Saudi side with Napoli ‘worried’ about losing their striker.

French transfer expert Jonathan Johnson has his own update on Mbappe with Osimhen also a name on PSG’s transfer hit list.

Johnson said in his Caught Offside column: “If PSG were to bank €300m from selling Mbappe, I’m not sure it would actually change their transfer plans significantly – the players they’ve looked at already have pretty big price tags. They have looked the situations regarding players like Victor Osimhen and Harry Kane, so those are players already on PSG’s radar, it’s just that there’s the feeling they might not be the best fit.

“I don’t expect PSG’s plans to really change based on the huge windfall from the sale of Mbappe – what they really have to plan for is how that front line would be structured. PSG’s star power has already taken a bit of a hit with Lionel Messi leaving, so it would be another massive hit if Mbappe goes as well. It would surely mean Neymar staying put and becoming the face of the project, unless they were able to land another big name.

“PSG have been interested in Bernardo Silva for the whole transfer window, and it looks like situation at Manchester City, having already lost a few big names, might complicate that pursuit, but if they suddenly found themselves with the kind of money that could allow them to enter into meaningful talks over that calibre of player, I think that’s something they’d definitely do.

“It’s certainly the case that all the uncertainty with Mbappe is tying one hand behind their back to an extent in terms of planning for next season. Luis Enrique is currently trying to get to grips with this PSG squad in Japan but there’s no real source of goals for him at the moment without Mbappe, with Neymar still working his way back to fitness after surgery, so PSG would clearly need a reliable goal-scorer should they lose Mbappe and receive all that money from Al Hilal.

“Equally, PSG are already looking at those kind of players anyway, to pair with Mbappe, so it doesn’t change much in the immediate sense in terms of what PSG are trying to do on the market, but it does make things a bit easier in terms of Financial Fair Play and other considerations – they could suddenly plough ahead with some big-name targets without having to worry about offloading others.

“In terms of attacking targets, PSG continue to be strongly linked with Rasmus Hojlund. He’s a fantastic talent, but I actually think he’s a better fit for what Manchester United are trying to do at this moment in time. The pressure on Hojlund would be massive if he was coming to PSG to replace Mbappe – he doesn’t have the same prolific record as some of the names mentioned above, such as Osimhen or Kane, or even Goncalo Ramos, who’s also been linked.

“Still, the interest is genuine and L’Equipe now claim PSG have submitted an official bid. It’s hard to predict for sure, but my feeling is that Man United will end up beating PSG to his signature – he’d get the chance to play more at Old Trafford and become more of a key player straight away than he would at PSG, where he’d more likely be coming in with a view towards building around him in the future.

“And while Hojlund has great potential, it’s clear his asking price is pretty steep for someone of his track record. For a bit more money PSG could probably get a more established player with a more prolific record. I don’t really see PSG coming up with something that would be enough to see them beat United to Hojlund.”