The battle between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain for the future of Kylian Mbappe is like a game of chess, with every movement, comment or gesture carefully studied by the opposite side. Now, this trial of strength is entering the final stretch.
With just over 48 hours to go until the end of the transfer window, the Mbappe situation still hasn’t been resolved. This negotiation is proving to be as complicated as was expected, with PSG putting obstacles in the way.
While PSG know this is something of a lost cause, given Mbappe‘s desire to leave for Real Madrid one way or another, whether now or for free in a year’s time, the French club aren’t giving in easily. The player is still contracted to the Ligue 1 club until the summer of 2022 and PSG are looking to extract as much out of this fact as they can.
Real Madrid have made an improved offer of 170 million euros, plus a potential 10m euros more in add-ons. It then emerged on Saturday night that Los Blancos have set a deadline of 18:00 CEST on Monday for PSG to respond.
Rather than accept the offer, what PSG have done in response is include Mbappe in their squad list for their Sunday night match against Reims. That has seen the tension rise further.
Mbappe could play in that match and football history would forever show that PSG were able to put Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar together. But, there is also the risk, however slight, of Mbappe suffering an injury in this game. Such a situation could turn this entire situation upside down.
For Mauricio Pochettino, he is only focusing on winning football matches and is ready to count on Mbappe until he receives a call from upstairs telling him otherwise.
One way or another, a conclusion will have to be reached in this soap opera, with deadline day approaching. These next two days could feel eternal for Real Madrid supporters.