French soccer superstar Kylian Mbappé will be on the move this summer, as he’s reportedly agreed to join Real Madrid once his contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) ends at the end of the season, according to multiple reports, including Le Parisien and ESPN, citing unnamed sources.
Mbappé has been linked to a possible move to the Spanish giants over the last couple of years, but nothing ever unfolded as he remained in Paris.
According to ESPN, Mbappé has not informed PSG or Real Madrid of his decision but is expected to make an announcement next week.
Last year, the 25-year-old said he would not renew his contract at PSG, which expires at the end of the 2023-24 season when he could leave Paris for free. He is now free to sign a precontract agreement with a new club.
CNN has reached out to PSG, Real Madrid and Mbappé’s representation for comment.
The superstar striker is considered peerless on the pitch and has cemented a glowing reputation off it, donating his World Cup winnings – reportedly as much as $500,000 – to Premiers de Cordée, a charity offering sporting opportunities to children who are hospitalized or have disabilities.
He’s regarded as such a symbol of French excellence that when rumors of his departure for Madrid swirled in 2022, the country’s president phoned him and urged him to stay.
“I never imagined I’m gonna talk with the president about my future in my career, so it’s something crazy, really something crazy,” Mbappé said in an interview with The New York Times. “He told me: ‘I want you to stay. I don’t want you to leave now. You are so important for the country.’”
Real Madrid has long had a history of having some of soccer’s biggest superstars in its ranks.
The 2005/06 Galácticos squad boasted the likes of David Beckham, Ronaldo Nazário and Zidane, among countless other megastars. Fast-forward five years and record-breaking signings Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká were also plying their trade for Los Blancos.
Mbappé, for his part, has flirted with Real Madrid year after year.
The first time the team came calling for him was when the forward was just 13 years old. Word had gotten around to French football icon, Real Madrid legend and, at the time, Los Merengues sporting director Zinedine Zidane about the talented teenager and he was keen to take a closer look.
“My father received a call from someone at Real Madrid, inviting me to come to Spain for a training session over the holiday break,” Mbappé told The Players’ Tribune. “It was a shock because they actually told my father, ‘Zidane would like to see your son.’”
In his comic book, ‘Je m’appelle Kylian,’ Mbappé references this meeting and his dreams of one day playing in the famed white shirt of Real Madrid.
CNN’s Thomas Schlachter contributed to this report.
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