PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain are close to completing the signing of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for a fee of around €150 million plus a player, sources close to both clubs have told ESPN FC.
Up until recently, PSG had been hesitant to make a concrete offer to their Ligue 1 rivals for Mbappe and a source told ESPN FC that they were looking into ways to secure the 18-year-old without having to commit significant funds for another 12 months.
However, according to the Paris-based source, after significant reflection, PSG have decided that it is now or never to land a player they believe to be a generational talent and one who hails from Bondy in the French capital’s suburbs.
Thursday’s Champions League group-stage draw offered PSG’s hierarchy the chance to travel to Monaco to negotiate with their counterparts at the Ligue 1 champions and a deal worth around €150m is now more or less set.
Mbappe, already a full France international and selected by Didier Deschamps for Les Bleus’ upcoming World Cup qualifying clashes against Netherlands and Luxembourg, has until Monday’s meeting at Clairefontaine to sign the five-year contract that awaits him at Parc des Princes.
He could yet play on Sunday for Monaco before completing the move, as Jardim said on Friday the player was fit again after missing out last week because of injury.
Quoted in L’Equipe, Jardim said: “If the match took place today, he would be in it. Everyone has trained well, everyone is in good condition. We’ll decide tomorrow, but, if everything goes well, he’ll be there. He’s a Monaco player and we need everybody with us.”
The most significant final detail left to solve for PSG is which player will form part of the transfer taking Mbappe from Stade Louis II to his childhood club.
Both the Paris and Monaco-based sources say that Lucas Moura will be included in the deal if he can be persuaded to make the switch, but the Monaco-based source revealed that coach Leonardo Jardim is also very interested in Goncalo Guedes, who was previously set to join Valencia on a season-long loan.
The issue with Lucas is believed to be the fact that he is unwilling to leave Paris for a new environment due to his settled lifestyle with so many close friends in the capital — notably new signing and childhood friend Neymar — and with his partner expecting their first child.
If both PSG and Monaco are unable to persuade Lucas to move, the Paris source indicated that another player could be used as bait — likely Guedes — but that the Brazil international is the lead candidate for the moment.
The same source also revealed that PSG are still very keen on Monaco’s Fabinho to fill their void in defensive midfield but sporting director Antero Henrique is keeping tabs on Porto’s Danilo Pereira, too.
PSG hope to strike a similar deal for Fabinho to the one that they have for Mbappe — including a player — making the prospect of both Lucas and Guedes heading to the Principality a possibility.
Until this situation has been resolved, Guedes remains on standby with his Valencia loan ready to be confirmed by both parties if he does not end up going to Monaco.
Mbappe’s imminent arrival and PSG’s continued pursuit of a defensive midfielder has sparked speculation over the futures of a number of players, notably Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler.
According to the Paris source, Di Maria could now be sacrificed — amid interest from Barcelona — in order to accommodate Mbappe and recoup some significant funds after the signings of the teenager and Neymar in the same summer.
PSG coach Unai Emery is not happy with this as he views Di Maria as an important squad member but is also a big fan of Mbappe and understands that it is not possible to keep the Argentina international, Draxler, Javier Pastore — who is unsellable in chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s eyes — Guedes and Lucas.
Henrique is confident he will succeed in moving on Serge Aurier, Hatem Ben Arfa and Grzegorz Krychowiak before the end of the month, as well as Lucas and Guedes, and — if required — Di Maria.
The source indicated that PSG’s plan is to bring in Mbappe and either Fabinho or Pereira, ideally the former, and ship out at least five of those six players either permanently or on loan.
Once that business is done and the transfer window closes, a wave of lucrative renegotiated sponsorship deals are expected to follow in order to navigate financial fair play.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.