Mbappe to join PSG on initial loan deal

France forward Kylian Mbappe is ready to bid au revoir to French champions Monaco and say bonjour to Paris Saint-Germain.
France forward Kylian Mbappe is ready to bid au revoir to French champions Monaco and say bonjour to Paris Saint-Germain.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Transitory arrangement in €180m transfer will help big spenders avoid FFP sanctions

PARIS • Monaco's teen sensation Kylian Mbappe is set to join Paris Saint-Germain, after radio stations France Info and RMC revealed on Sunday that the football club has agreed to pay €180 million (S$291 million), including bonuses, for the striker.

That would make the French international the second most expensive transfer in football history behind Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona for €222 million earlier this month.

However, concerns over meeting Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP) obligations mean PSG would initially sign Mbappe on loan, according to sports daily L'Equipe.

The 18-year-old was expected to leave the principality yesterday morning and fly to Paris on his way to joining the French national squad.

France play a World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France on Thursday and a game against Luxembourg in Toulouse on Sunday.

France coach Didier Deschamps insisted last week when he named his squad that no player would be allowed to leave the national team camp at Clairefontaine, around 50km south of Paris, to complete a transfer.

Mbappe was set to complete the move yesterday ahead of the transfer window closing on Thursday, allowing him to team up with Neymar and Edinson Cavani in a mouthwatering PSG attack after the international break.

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

That saw Monaco join PSG at the top of the Ligue 1 table with four wins from four games at the start of the season.

Asked after the game about Mbappe's expected departure, Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said: "I am not confirming anything. It is not my role to discuss that. My role is on the field.

"He is a Monaco player. That is why he was on the bench. But after it went 4-0 I didn't need him. The club's project is to bring through the best players."

Mbappe was outstanding in the second half of last season but he has not played in any of Monaco's last three games as they extended their record winning run to 16 league games.

FFP rules 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.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have reportedly agreed to sign Guinean midfielder Naby Keita from RB Leipzig for a club-record £48 million (S$84 million) deal next year, according to British media reports.

Several news outlets, including the BBC and the Times, said Liverpool have agreed to pay the release clause to sign the 22-year-old. They will reportedly pay an undisclosed premium as well.

Liverpool's previous transfer record was the £35 million they paid Newcastle to sign Andy Carroll in January 2011.

An athletic box-to-box midfielder, Keita has been a longstanding target for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline 'Mbappe to join PSG on initial loan deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe