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Kylian Mbappe tells PSG he will leave in summer


French football megastar Kylian Mbappe informed Paris St Germain on Thursday that he would leave the club when his contract expires in July, which makes him a free agent after seven years with the French champions.

File photo of Kylian Mbappe. /CFP
File photo of Kylian Mbappe. /CFP

File photo of Kylian Mbappe. /CFP

Mbappe, 25, joined PSG from Monaco in 2017 for 180 million euros ($194 million), the second highest behind Neymar in the club's history, and signed a new two-year contract in the summer of 2022 that included a 12-month extension clause for the 2024-25 season, which only he can trigger, not the club. Due to the clause, his departure is expected to involve either a sale with a transfer fee or financial sacrifices on his part. His current salary costs the Ligue 1 leaders about 200 million euros ($215m) per year.

To date, the 2018 World Cup winner is PSG's all-time top scorer with 243 goals and 93 assists in 290 games, and has helped the club win five Ligue 1 titles and three French Cups.

LaLiga giant Real Madrid have stayed on the forefront of chasing the French international since he turned them down to stay at PSG in the summer of 2022, which he regretted later, as the drama rose to a point where he was exiled from PSG's first-team squad for weeks in the following summer. Roughly at the same time, PSG received an offer of 300m euros ($332m) for the player from Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal before they reinstated him in the squad, ending on a note when he decided not take the option of the extended year, and would exit when the contract runs out.

Madrid restarted their pursuit last December, but their latest offer was turned down by the player's entourage, as it was lower than the one he was presented with back in 2022 due to the new economic and sporting context at the club.

The detailed terms of his departure are yet to be fully agreed, with an official announcement expected to be made in the coming months. PSG, who are 11 points clear of second-placed Nice in Ligue 1 this season, now face an uncertain future with the French captain joining a list of big names who have left the club in the past 12 months, including Lionel Messi, Neymar, Sergio Ramos and Marco Verratti. 

(With input from Reuters)

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