LONDON • Paris Saint-Germain have secured the signature of Kylian Mbappe for a transfer fee that is set to exceed the record £200 million (S$354 million) they paid for Neymar less than a fortnight ago, according to The Times.
The London newspaper, quoting sources familiar with the negotiations, reported yesterday that the Qatar-owned French football club are to spend an initial £173 million on buying Mbappe's registration from Monaco.
However, a series of performance-related bonuses secured by Monaco from their direct domestic rivals will push Mbappe's fee beyond the £200 million release clause PSG deployed to extract Neymar from Barcelona.
The Parisian side's capture of Mbappe has created a headache for Real Madrid, who believed they had secured the teenage striker.
Real's commitment to beating Manchester City and PSG for Mbappe's signature was such that they had placed Gareth Bale on the market in order to assuage the young Frenchman's concerns that he would not have a guaranteed place in the European champions' starting line-up.
Earlier this month Mbappe agreed on personal terms at the Bernabeu that would have multiplied his after-tax earnings by more than a factor of 10, with Real in the process of finalising a transfer fee with Monaco.
Last Tuesday, as they prepared to defeat Manchester United, Real learnt that PSG had gazumped their agreement with Mbappe.
It is understood that PSG improved the financial terms on offer to Mbappe, who is to be remunerated with a basic after-tax salary of about £8 million a year.
As club president Florentino Perez made efforts to resurrect Real's deal, Monaco inflated Mbappe's transfer fee beyond Neymar's record £200 million.
Although the sums for a footballer who is still just 18 are stratospheric, Mbappe thrilled many with his performances last season.
The young striker was a crucial figure in Monaco's Ligue 1 triumph. He progressed from a substitute to a regular starter, linking up brilliantly with the likes of Radamel Falcao and Bernardo Silva.
Mbappe's movement is electric and his finishing belies his years.
PSG have also made a move to sign Monaco midfielder Fabinho for €60 million (S$96.8 million), according to an ESPN report.
It reported that, since last season, Fabinho has had a gentleman's agreement with Monaco that he would be granted a move if a suitable offer arrived.
And that after Antero Henrique arrived as sporting director at PSG in June the club made a bid of around €45 million for the player, but it was turned down.
With the increased offer, ESPN's Jonathan Johnson said the Brazil international would attempt to force a move because he believes his best chance of being part of his national team for next year's World Cup is to play alongside international teammates including Brazil captain Neymar at PSG.
THE TIMES, LONDON