Manchester United are said to be among the clubs considering a ‘bidding frenzy’ for Kylian Mbappe after Al-Hilal submitted a £259 million bid for the French forward. The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has thrown the transfer window on its head by spending exorbitant amounts of money to entice some of the sport’s best stars.
Among the big-name players who have moved to Saudi Arabia are Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Marcelo Brozovic, Ruben Neves, and Kalidou Koulibaly. With a few exceptions, such as former Celtic player Jota, most of the talents are in their 30s.
However, Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to upset the status quo have taken a new turn with their public approach to buying Mbappe from PSG. The Ligue 1 club apparently wants to trade Mbappe if he refuses to sign a new deal, and he was abruptly removed from the club’s pre-season tour of Japan.
That appears to have sparked the interest of Al-Hilal, who submitted an official proposal worth a record-breaking £259 million. PSG is unlikely to reject the offer, but Mbappe would have the last say on whether he wants to go to Saudi Arabia.
PSG’s intention in selling Mbappe has sparked interest from clubs throughout Europe, with the Telegraph identifying Manchester United as one of the clubs to ‘express their interest’. Many clubs are said to be ‘formulating bids’ in order to put PSG’s determination to the test.
According to the article, a ‘bidding war’ will soon begin, with Europe’s elite vying to sign Mbappe. Losing the forward to Saudi Arabia would be a further blow to Europe’s dominance in world football, following the exits of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo was the first big-name player to move to Saudi Arabia in January, while Messi chose to join MLS team Inter Miami rather than follow his former adversary. However, whether European clubs can compete with the financial strength of Saudi clubs remains to be seen.
According to reports, Al-Hilal is willing to sign Mbappe to a one-year contract, which means he will be free to transfer wherever he wants next year. PSG believes an agreement is still in place for Mbappe to join Real Madrid after a deal fell through a year ago.
When asked about Real Madrid’s interest in Mbappe this week, Real president Florentino Perez told La Sexta: “I am always calm.”