PSG ‘encouraged’ by Mbappe contract stance; Arsenal, Newcastle target lined up just in case

Jason Soutar
PSG star Kylian Mbappe during a pre-match warm-up.
Kylian Mbappe during a pre-match warm-up.

There has not been a ‘breakthrough’ in talks but Kylian Mbappe being in ‘open dialogue’ with Paris Saint-Germain over a new contract is seen as ‘encouraging’, according to a journalist.

In June, the France captain told PSG he did not intend to trigger the one-year extension in his contract, meaning he is expected to leave for nothing in 2024.

This angered the Ligue 1 club’s hierarchy, who gave the player an ultimatum: sign a new contract or be sold in the summer transfer window.

PSG accepted a mind-boggling £257million bid from Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal but Mbappe was not eager to make the move to the Middle East, refusing to enter negotiations despite the biggest contract in the history of the sport being on the table.

Mbappe was left out of the club’s pre-season tour of Asia but was reintegrated back into the squad for the second Ligue 1 match of the 2023/24 campaign.

Things are a lot less acrimonious between Mbappe – who insisted he did not want to leave the club this summer – and PSG with the new season now four games deep.

The club’s hierarchy reportedly believe the player has an agreement in place to join Real Madrid on a free transfer next year but they are not giving up in their attempts to renew his contract.

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Neymar’s summer departure and the arrival of France teammates Randal Kolo Muani and Ousmane Dembele appear to have pleased the former Monaco youngster, who is enjoying his football despite the beef over the summer.

And French journalist Jonathan Johnson (writing for CaughtOffside) says Mbappe is in ‘open dialogue’ with PSG over a contract extension.

Johnson insists he has not heard about any ‘breakthrough’ in discussions, though the current situation is viewed as ‘encouraging’ within the club’s hierarchy the 24-year-old’s stance is now ‘very different’ to what it was a couple of months ago.

It is noted that ‘nothing is off the table’ at this moment in time but PSG are ‘happy’ Mbappe is back in the squad.

Meanwhile, PSG will pursue Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia if Mbappe leaves next summer, according to Fichajes – a Spanish outlet reporting on a Georgian player leaving an Italian club to play in France.

Kvaratskhelia is viewed as a ‘viable option’ should the France captain leave on a free in 2024.

Napoli ‘have no intention’ of selling the 22-year-old, however, and are expected to ask for €170million if PSG make contact.

Kvaratskhelia has been linked with Manchester City, Newcastle United, Liverpool and Arsenal this year.

The Georgian winger was massive for Napoli as they won the Serie A title last term, scoring 12 goals and providing 13 assists in 34 league appearances.

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