Football: PSG secure Mbappe in mega Monaco deal

Kylian Mbappe arrives for a training session, Aug 30, 2017.
Kylian Mbappe arrives for a training session, Aug 30, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - French teen sensation Kylian Mbappe joined Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco on a season-long loan on Thursday (Aug 31), just hours before the transfer deadline in a deal that makes him the second most expensive footballer in history.

"Paris Saint-Germain is delighted to announce the immediate arrival of Kylian Mbappe," the club wrote on its website.

"The loan agreement also includes an option to buy which, when exercised, will bind the player to Paris Saint-Germain until June 30, 2022."

According to media reports, the overall transfer fee could rise to €180 million (S$290 million) including add-ons, which would make Mbappe, 18, the second most valuable player ever behind his new team-mate Neymar.

"It is with great joy and pride that I join Paris Saint-Germain," said Mbappe.

"For any young person from the Paris region, it is often a dream to wear the red and blue jersey and experience the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.

"I really wanted to be a part of the club's project, which is one of the most ambitious in Europe.

"Alongside my new team-mates, I intend to continue my progression while helping the team achieve the very big objectives it has set itself."

 

Mbappe burst onto the scene in the second half of last season and scored 15 goals in 29 appearances in Monaco's run to the French title.

He netted 26 times in 44 matches in all competitions.

Brought up in the northern suburbs of Paris, Mbappe was compared to a young Thierry Henry as he first broke into the Monaco side in December 2015, just before his 17th birthday.

He has won four caps for France.

"It was essential for French football that we keep and help develop such a great talent in our championship," said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

"Among players of his age, he is without doubt the most promising in the world."

Also targeted by Real Madrid this summer, Mbappe's move to PSG will leave many wondering how the Qatar-owned club can avoid sanctions from European football's governing body considering the investment already made on Neymar.

The French club shattered the previous global transfer record earlier in August when they splashed out a staggering €222 million to prise the Brazilian superstar away from Barcelona.

FFP rules currently stipulate that clubs cannot post losses of more than €30 million over the three-year period to 2018.

Among the sanctions risked by PSG if they are found to have broken those rules is a ban from the Champions League. France play a World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France later on Thursday, although Mbappe was only named among the substitutes by Didier Deschamps.

After being left out of the Monaco squad last week, Mbappe was an unused substitute for last Sunday's game against Marseille as the reigning French champions won 6-1.