Paris Saint-Germain has reportedly rejected an initial bid from Real Madrid of €160 million ($188 million) for superstar Kylian Mbappe. However, the club would consider a €200 million ($235 million) proposal if Los Blancos are willing to increase their offer.
Adam Crafton of The Athletic reported PSG's decision to decline the initial bid. L'Equipe (via AS) noted Les Parisiens are reluctant to sell this summer but may if the price is closer to $235 million. They face a difficult decision if Real Madrid improves its offer before the transfer window closes Tuesday since Mbappe's contract ends after the 2021-22 season.
Leonardo, Paris Saint-Germain's sporting director, commented on the situation Wednesday:
PSG are in a difficult position as their prior acquisition of Barcelona legend Lionel Messi gave the club the world's most high-profile attacking trio as he joined Mbappe and Neymar. It would have been intriguing to see how they could have performed over an entire term.
The Messi situation is a reminder of the dangers of keeping a player until their contract expires, though.
He became a free agent July 1 and, while there was an expectation he'd re-sign with Barca, the La Liga club couldn't satisfy La Liga's financial regulations to get his new contract verified. In turn, he headed for the Parc des Princes on a free transfer.
Paris Saint-Germain don't want to see Mbappe walk away next summer without getting any compensation in return, so a transfer before the summer window closes Tuesday or during the winter window is the safest option for the Ligue 1 side.
While that could change if the 22-year-old France international reverses course and shows a willingness to sign a contract extension, that hasn't happened yet.
ESPN's Julien Laurens and Rodrigo Faez reported Tuesday that Mbappe has "made it clear" he isn't planning to re-sign with the club.
The forward, who's scored 133 goals in 174 appearances across all competitions for PSG, would be a major loss, but the arrival of Messi would help soften the blow in the short term.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid has overcome financial concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic with conservative spending in recent years, which puts Los Blancos in "position to make an appropriate offer" for Mbappe, per Laurens and Faez.
Now, the only question is whether there's enough time for the clubs to hammer out the transfer details before the window closes Tuesday.