Real Madrid and Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe amid reports the striker is more likely to commit to PSG following Thomas Tuchel’s sacking.
The French club parted company with manager Tuchel on Christmas Eve, just four months after he led them to the first Champions League final in the club’s history.
But it wasn’t results which forced PSG to wield the axe, rather an argument between Tuchel and sporting director Leonardo back in October over transfers.
PSG had allowed both Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani to leave for nothing in the summer after their respective contracts had run down, which irked Tuchel.
Though there are no plans to let the same happen with Mbappe, as AS report the 22-year-old is now poised to put pen to paper on a new deal.
The Spanish publication described Mbappe’s relationship with Tuchel as “turbulent”, while also adding that PSG chiefs have assured first-choice managerial target Mauricio Pochettino that the French striker will be staying put.
Keeping hold of Mbappe would be a pre-requisite of Pochettino’s in any negotiations for the role, with the ex-Tottenham boss believed to already be lined up to replace Tuchel in the hot seat.
Madrid will be particularly disappointed with the unexpected developments in Paris, as they were hopeful of launching a bid for Mbappe in the summer, when he will have just 12 months remaining on his contract.
It was thought Tuchel remaining in charge would have strengthened Madrid’s bargaining position.
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Instead, the report suggests Mbappe will now commit to a long-term deal at PSG but with a release clause inserted which would allow him to leave for his dream club Madrid for the right price.
However, that figure is likely to be in the region of at least €250million – a fee Madrid are not in a position to meet in the current climate.
PSG are already some way into negotiations with Mbappe’s representatives and hope to have a deal wrapped up sooner rather than later, though not before they have appointed Tuchel’s successor, with Pochettino now waiting in the wings.