French soccer star Kylian Mbappé has reportedly decided to join Real Madrid this summer after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires, ending months of speculation that the Spanish club could land the 25-year-old superstar.
French newspaper Le Parisien first reported the news, with ESPN further confirming Saturday, citing unnamed sources.
Sources told ESPN Mbappé has not informed PSG or Real Madrid, but his decision has been made and a decision could be announced next week.
Mbappé has been with PSG since 2017, when he first joined the club on loan from Monaco—PSG fully assumed his contract rights the next year.
Mbappé is widely considered one of the best players of his generation. He won a World Cup with France at age 19 in 2018 and was named the best young player of the tournament. At the 2022 World Cup, he was top scorer with eight goals as France made another run to the final, ultimately falling to Lionel Messi-led Argentina in penalty kicks. At the club level, he has been the top or co-lead scorer in France’s Ligue 1 for the past five seasons. He is again top scorer for this season so far with 20 goals—twice as many as the next-leading scorer. Mbappé’s tenure with PSG has long been accompanied by rumors of potential departures—and Real Madrid has been the top rumored landing place. In 2022, Real Madrid made a big-ticket offer to lure Mbappé away, but PSG was able to secure him to another two-year contract, which expires this August.
Mbappé is the third-highest paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes’ latest World’s Highest Paid Athletes list, with total earnings of $120 million. Mbappé trails only Lionel Messi, who left PSG last year for Inter Miami, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who played for Real Madrid from 2009 to 2018. Real Madrid is the most valuable soccer team in the world, Forbes estimates, worth just over $6 billion.