Not content with making Neymar soccer’s most expensive player, French club Paris Saint-Germain has signed Kylian Mbappé — regarded as of one of the world’s most promising teenagers — from Monaco.
The 18-year-old Mbappé, who was born in Paris, will initially make the move to PSG from French champions Monaco on a one-year loan before signing a permanent deal.
Neither club have revealed the financial figures involved in the transfer, but a fee of $214 million has been widely reported, which would make Mbappé the world’s second most expensive player.
“The international French striker is transferred on a loan basis from AS Monaco until June 30 2018,” said PSG on its website.
“The loan agreement also includes a call option for Paris Saint-Germain which, when exercised, will bind the player to Paris Saint-Germain until June 30 2022.”
Last season, Mbappé was a key member of a Monaco team that pipped PSG to the Ligue 1 title and also reached the Champions League semifinals. He scored 26 goals in 44 games.
“It was essential for French football that we keep and help develop such a great talent in our championship,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi told the French club’s website.
“Among players of his age, he is without doubt the most promising in the world due to his immense technical, physical and mental qualities.”
‘Joy and pride’
This summer Mbappé has been coveted by some of Europe’s top clubs with Barcelona and Real Madrid reportedly leading the race for the French star, who has now opted to continue playing in Ligue 1.
“It is with great joy and pride that I join Paris Saint-Germain,” Mbappé told the PSG website. “For any young person from the Paris region, it is often a dream to wear the red and blue jersey and experience the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.
“I really wanted to be a part of the club’s project, which is one of the most ambitious in Europe.”
However, Mbappé’s transfer could prove a watershed moment for the effectiveness of governing body UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
According to Deloitte’s Football Money League report issued in January, PSG’s 2015/16 revenue came to $627 million.
Under the terms of Financial Fair Play, introduced by UEFA seven years ago to slow the game’s spending, players’ wages can’t constitute more than 70% of a club’s income and losses can’t exceed €30 million ($35 million) over a three-year period.
PSG brought in an estimated $618 million in 2016/17 — of which over $350m was from commercial sources — according to KPMG’s Football Benchmark.
The Neymar fee alone comes to over 42% of the club’s entire income last season — leaving aside his reported wages of more than half-a-million dollars per week.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has criticized the Neymar deal, calling it “beyond calculation and beyond rationality.”
UEFA declined to comment on the exact details of the Mbappé deal, but did say in a statement” “As part of the continuous monitoring of clubs under financial fair play regulations, UEFA will look into the details of these transfers in due course to ensure PSG are compliant with FFP requirements.”
PSG have previously fallen foul of FFP regulations and in 2014 they were fined $72 million and had their Champions League squad reduced from 25 to 21 for failing to break even for the period from 2011-2014.