PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain have indicated to Monaco that they are prepared to pay upwards of €135 million to bring Kylian Mbappe back to the city of his birth this summer, a source close to the club has told ESPN FC.
PSG sporting director Antero Henrique has spent his first few weeks at Parc des Princes dealing with a number of internal issues, notably fighting alongside chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi to keep Marco Verratti amid interest from Barcelona.
However, the source has revealed that Henrique has also redrawn a list of summer transfer targets and Mbappe now figures more prominently than he did when now departed duo Olivier Letang and Patrick Kluivert were handling recruitment.
Before Henrique’s arrival, the former French champions wanted Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nice’s Jean Michael Seri and Valencia’s Jose Luis Gaya but those targets are no longer pursued.
Since Henrique took up office, the source says PSG now have Monaco’s Mbappe and Fabinho, as targets, along with AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro and Real Madrid’s Pepe.
The source added that despite the recent furore surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid future, PSG have been sceptical since the start as to whether he will actually be on the market this summer.
Not only does Henrique have a number of internal issues to resolve, such as Verratti’s future, Marquinhos’ contract extension, and a potential new deal for Adrien Rabiot, he must also bring in some new faces.
In an effort to realise Oryx Qatar Sports Investments’ (QSI) dream of a team capable of winning the Champions League, the source added that Henrique has stuck to the project’s original claim of wanting “the new Lionel Messi” by targeting Mbappe.
Henrique has twice spoken with the Mbappe’s father Wilfried — notably when both attended the friendly game between France and England at Stade de France.
Several sides have been linked with Mbappe, 18, but PSG are one of the few clubs who could meet the asking price Monaco want for their star talent and the source said the Qatari-owned giants have reminded their Ligue 1 rivals about this.
The €135m PSG have already indicated they are prepared to pay would be a new world record sum in itself but they could still go higher — or include one of their players in part exchange — in order to land somebody who they think could rejuvenate their chances of winning major honours.
The source understands Real Madrid and Arsenal have presented convincing arguments for Mbappe to join them but that the lure of a potential hometown return, not to mention coach Unai Emery’s enthusiastic view of the teenager, also holds significant appeal.
PSG are said to have even discussed the possibility of financing an Mbappe family reunion — in the same way they did for Giovani Lo Celso’s family — by bringing Kylian and his brother Ethan, 11, back to the Paris region together as the younger brother is also on Monaco’s books.
The source acknowledged that Mbappe has already indicated to potential suitors — including PSG — that he would be happy to spend next season at Monaco ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Monaco’s transfer business so far this summer sees them in a position to keep Mbappe and offer him improved terms. The France international is currently reflecting on the different offers he has available to him while on holiday but PSG’s interest is very real.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.