What Kylian Mbappé's future holds in transfer window after latest Champions League failure

Kylian Mbappé reacts during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Borussia Dortmund, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on May 7, 2024.
Kylian Mbappé will be on the move in the summer transfer window. -Credit:ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Ultimately, football's most expensive project has failed. Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are responsible for the two biggest transfer fees in the history of the sport — by the end of the summer, both will have left PSG without having delivered the coveted Champions League trophy.

Neymar left last summer, in a move that has gone badly even by Saudi standards. Plenty of players have struggled out there, but the Brazilian has barely been seen, playing just three games before tearing his cruciate ligament. On the plus side, Al-Hilal is on the brink of an unbeaten season in his absence, spearheaded by Aleksandar Mitrović.

From a Liverpool perspective, though, the path taken by Mbappé holds the greatest interest. Links to Anfield have resurfaced throughout his career, since the Monaco days when FSG boss John Henry met the player and his family on a private jet.

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Mbappé is out of contract at PSG this summer, and it's the first time where Liverpool has hardly featured in the gossip. As recently as 2022, the forward made the surprising revelation to the Telegraph that he had spoken to the Reds before deciding to stay in the French capital.

The latest saga, though, has never truly concerned Liverpool. There were one or two idle reports that the Reds could get involved, but for months (maybe even years) now, the assumption has been that he will end up at Real Madrid.

We can expect some progress on that in the near future. The BBC was among those to report earlier in the campaign that Mbappé had reached an agreement with Real Madrid, and that the announcement would come once it was no longer possible for him to meet his future employer in this season's Champions League.

With PSG eliminated by Borussia Dortmund, inspired in part by captain Emre Can, a potential showdown against Real Madrid in the final is no longer possible. The Spanish giant will play for its place at Wembley tonight, although it will have to get past Bayern Munich, which is aiming to set up an exact repeat of the 2013 final.

Mbappé is expected to sign a five-year contract at Real Madrid. He will be paid $16m (£13m/€15m) per season, with a bumper $161m (£129m/€150m) signing-on fee to be paid over the course of the deal as well. He will also retain a percentage of his image rights. says: It will almost be a relief to finally have Kylian Mbappé at Real Madrid. That should draw an absolutely final line under transfer links (and who knows, maybe it could bring Rodrygo on to the market?)

We might be singing a different tune if Liverpool has to face Real Madrid in next season's Champions League, however. There's no denying that adding him to the already-potent mix at the Bernabéu is a daunting prospect, with even an Mbappé-less Los Blancos side finding a way past Manchester City in the current iteration of the tournament.