Kylian Mbappe Rumors: PSG Ends Pursuit After Star Agrees to Terms with Real Madrid

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 17, 2022

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe reacts during the French L1 football match between Angers SCO and Paris Saint-Germain at the Raymond-Kopa Stadium in Angers, north-western France on April 20, 2022. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain has resigned itself to losing star striker Kylian Mbappe, according to ESPN's Julien Laurens.

David Ornstein of The Athletic reported Monday that Mbappe, who's due to be a free agent this summer, agreed to a contract with Real Madrid. The deal hasn't been signed, though, leaving PSG with a sliver of hope about him reversing course and remaining in the French capital.

A last-minute change of heart always seemed unlikely because Mbappe would've surely re-signed with PSG by now if he had wanted to stay where he is.

The 23-year-old told RMC Sport (h/t CBS Sport's Jonathan Johnson) in October he had asked to leave when the summer transfer window was open. Real Madrid had lodged a nine-figure transfer bid but was rebuffed by Paris Saint-Germain. 

Still, Laurens reported the Ligue 1 champion was "confident of Mbappe staying as recently as last week."

"They offered Mbappe a huge new deal, promised him a better squad for next season, offered him the captain's armband and 100 percent of his own image rights, according to sources," per Laurens.

With the three-time Ligue 1 Player of the Year now set to depart, the question is whom PSG will identify as a replacement.

Lionel Messi scored just six league goals in his first year at the club, with the legend beginning to show his age (34). Neymar has averaged roughly 18 Ligue 1 appearances per season since signing with PSG in 2017. Mauro Icardi isn't good enough to be the No. 1 option for a side with ambitions of winning the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland was the most obvious successor to Mbappe, but he's on his way to Manchester City.

PSG has a bottomless well of money it can use to attract marquee names, but signing a striker approaching Mbappe's level might be easier said than done for sporting director Leonardo.