Real Madrid’s 11-Year Pursuit Of Kylian Mbappe Could Finally Be Successful – Forbes

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 3: Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain smiles during the Ligue 1 match between … [+] Paris Saint-Germain and Clermont Foot at Parc des Princes on June 3, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Two weeks ago the French striker Kylian Mbappe informed Paris Saint-Germain he would not be extending his contract with them beyond the summer of 2024.
Mbappe’s formal letter has left the French champions with the choice of selling their best player this summer for a significant transfer fee or keeping him for a final season before allowing him to leave for nothing next summer.
This would not have come as a major shock to anyone who has been following Mbappe’s career as despite starting his career in France he has always wanted to eventually move to one of Europe’s bigger leagues.
This has put Real Madrid on high alert after they publicly tried and failed to sign Mbappe last summer. The Spanish giants made the striker an offer, but he decided to commit himself to PSG for at least two more seasons.
“I have lots of respect for Real Madrid,” Mbappe said in May 2022. “They wanted to do a lot to make me happy. So I thank them for that. I’d also like to thank Real fans. I hope they’ll understand the fact I’ve chosen to stay.”
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 3: Kylian Mbappé #7 of Paris Saint-Germain during the Paris Saint-Germain V … [+] Clermont, French Ligue 1 regular season match at Parc des Princes on June 3, 2023, in Paris, France (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
However, twelve months on, Real believe they are now on the verge of finally securing Mbappe’s signature, possibly as early as this summer or at the very latest next summer.
This would bring to an end the Spanish club’s pursuit of Mbappe that has lasted for more than a decade since he was 13-years-old.
Mbappe grew up in a bedroom covered in posters of his hero Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Real Madrid, which inspired his interest to also join the club.
At the age of seven Mbappe started playing for the grassroots club AS Bondy in the northeast suburbs of Paris, where it soon became obvious he was an incredible talent blessed with exceptional pace.
By the time he was ten a long list of clubs from across Europe were aware of this emerging French talent. A year later he was tempted across to England to have a trial with Chelsea at their Cobham training ground.
Monaco’s French forward Kylian Mbappe Lottin (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA … [+] Champions League 2nd leg quarter-final football match AS Monaco v BVB Borussia Dortmund on April 19, 2017 at the Louis II stadium in Monaco. / AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Mbappe’s parents allowed him to go to London primarily for the experience and to test himself in another country, but never had any intention of him joining Chelsea.
Mbappe inevitably impressed the coaches there, and played for Chelsea’s Under-12 side in an 8-0 win over Charlton Athletic. Chelsea hurriedly offered him a place in their academy, but the Mbappe family politely declined.
The following year Mbappe instead accepted a place at the French Football Federation’s Clairefontaine to continue his rapid development.
In December 2012 Mbappe was invited to Madrid for the first time for a trial in the same week he turned 14.
“We did not go to Madrid to learn more about our son’s potential, but to please him” Mbappe’s father Wilfried has previously said.
TOPSHOT – Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe (C) greets Riyadh All-Star’s Portuguese … [+] forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) during the Riyadh Season Cup football match between the Riyadh All-Stars and Paris Saint-Germain at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh on January 19, 2023. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Mbappe got to meet Ronaldo and the French legend Zinedine Zidane, posing for pictures and getting them to sign his Madrid shirts.
The young striker thrilled Madrid’s youth coaches, but once again he and his family resisted their efforts to make him leave France.
“I’m very grateful to Kylian,” his uncle Pierre Mbappe has said. “I never imagined my 13-year-old nephew would take me to Real Madrid or Chelsea. But you can get to Madrid and start from the back of the queue. The whole world then forgets about you.”
“My parents wanted me to start my career in France, to have a French education in football but also in education itself,” Mbappe has since said. “Going to Spain, even with Zidane [there] was another country, another culture.”
And so Mbappe fulfilled their wish to stay in France by joining AS Monaco in 2015, mainly due to their esteemed reputation for developing young talent.
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR – DECEMBER 18: Kylian Mbappe of France (L) and Lionel Messi of Argentina during … [+] the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Stephen McCarthy – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
In the south of France Mbappe’s youthful promise was spectacularly realised when he scored 27 goals in 60 games, becoming Monaco’s youngest ever player and goal scorer in his first season, which helped them win the French title in 2017.
That same summer Madrid again tried to sign Mbappe, but this time with a reported bid of £161 million. However, a month later the striker decided to prolong his stay in France and move to Paris Saint-Germain in a deal worth £166 million.
Madrid have since had to watch and wait as he has gone on to win the 2018 World Cup with France, score 212 goals in 260 games for PSG, and score a hat-trick in last year’s dramatic World Cup final in Qatar.
In August 2021 Madrid had a bid of £171 million for Mbappe rejected by PSG, and went back again the following year with another unsuccessful offer.
It now appears as though the Spanish club’s patience will be rewarded, possibly as early as this summer, and 11 years since they first tried, Mbappe will finally sign for them.
In March 2017, Mbappe had said, “We go along step by step. Madrid is for players at the peak of their careers, and I am not there yet.” But now that moment has arrived.







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