Call me a ‘cynic’ all you like, but this one scares me a little bit.
In case you missed the startling headlines of the past few days, Kylian Mbappe has now officially pledges his re-allegiance to PSG by penning a new contract.
It’ll only last about 3 years (probably less), but still!
This came as a huge surprise following the speculation linking the Frenchman with a move away from the Parc Des Princes for pretty much the whole season.
To be honest, I’m a little disillusioned by all of this.
The 2021 Summer Transfer Window is one of the most extraordinary on record. A story which saw the rise of future giants and the fall of existing ones. Which gave us all a brand new sense of occasion of what this new football era was going to look like.
And critically, who would stake their claim in its success.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his long-awaited return to Manchester United, the financial downturn of Barcelona finally forced Lionel Messi out of the door, and for the first time, the landscape of the world as we knew it over the past two decades had changed.
We had new challenges, new challengers and new storylines.
It was all so exciting at the time, I must admit.
Real Madrid had a tough window, however – and remarkably made their biggest moves at the eleventh hour of trading. They signed Eduardo Camavinga – a wonderful signing for the future.
But they lacked that marquee announcement.
Ideally, this is where Kylian Mbappe would come in. So, they launched a dastardly 9-figure offer to his employer to see if they could secure his services for the new season.
But it didn’t work.
PSG rebuffed the bid for Kylian Mbappe but their bargaining power was becoming progressively weakened as the season drew to its conclusion.
If anything, the narrative turned into incredulity of PSG’s rejection.
As Kylian Mbappe’s contract was up at the end of the season.
With the Bosman rule well and truly in effect, it seemed as though PSG missed out on a pretty healthy pay-day (or substantial loss in this case) for the sake of vanity.
They didn’t want to be bullied into a deadline day deal for one of their most exciting prospects, and preferred to see how the season would stack up when they sat down with Kylian Mbappe’s representatives again.
Ideally, his new partnership with Messi and Neymar would have yielded nicer rewards.
Since the Qatari ownership of the club nearly ten years prior, the entire project has centred around their winning the UEFA Champions League – the only top-drawer prize which both alluded them since taking over and would approve their title as a major European club.
Manchester City find themselves in a similar situation to them.
But alas, PSG failed again – ironically, at the hands of Real Madrid.
So, with the domestic season over, speculation turned to Kylian Mbappe once again.
Almost inevitably: ‘when was he going to sign for Real Madrid?’
With Madrid lining up their own Champions League final against Liverpool, talks tended to cool from their side; as if they thought the deal was done. Or that’s how it was perceived.
But then, critically, PSG seemed ultimately calm about everything.
From their communications department to the social media teams, they still promptly included Kylian Mbappe in every exciting announcement they had.
Therefore suggesting that there may be more to this saga than what meets the eye.
And so it turned out to be, as they announced the most unlikely of contract extensions for Kylian Mbappe for an additional three years.
One would assume that this is a very critical next few years for the Parisien project, as it would be difficult to know where they’d go from here to achieve their ultimate goal of European glory and respect.
Especially when you consider what Kylian Mbappe has been offered to stay. With PSG involved, you’d imagine they’d thrown money at the problem. As they have so done since the takeover with big-name targets up until this point – and even before Mbappe was signed a few years back.
And you’d be right.
Following the extension, Kylian Mbappe is reported to earn a whopping €56,400,000 p/calendar year for the next three while employed by the Paris club.
Which translates into a €1,170,000 per/week wage.
Smashing any record which may have come before him in the process. Granted, it’s before tax – so this amount will be lessened somewhat, but even then, it’s more than €1 every second while he’s made to play under the blue lights of the Parc Des Princes.
Critically, this deal isn’t just about the money.
A number of the PSG cohort (Mbappe included) have incessantly voiced their concerns over the welfare of the project while they’re there in their prime years.
And in a move which could shake the balance of power within football to its very core, PSG insist that Kylian Mbappe will now have an active input for the remainder of his deal.
Not stopping there, Leonardo’s position as the club’s Sporting Director may also come under threat, with many believing the transfer work of the team to be sub-par compared to their ambitions of European dominations.
Now, a player will have a right to stake a claim on who succeeds him.
Yes, a player – on the type of contract that a Sporting Director would themselves employ – would now apparently have an impact on who they can choose to employ next to them.
As things stand, this is all hearsay and might not come to fruition.
To be honest, I hope that’s the case.
I’m all for a footballer knowing their worth and earning that. After all, if someone offered me a butt-load of money to do the job I’m doing now, I’d take it and burn the receipt.
Modern football has afforded their biggest attractions to earn exorbitant amounts of money as the commercial significance of the game has progressed. But even that’s directly correlated to the success of the sport being paid to the people who make it a success in the first place. Without the players, there is no game, after all.
But to have a player decide who they play next to and potentially how much is spent (and maybe what contract they’re offered) is a step too far for me.
The clubs need to maintain their power to keep them on course with their vision.
Without it, this could be a real problem for the future of PSG.