On Tuesday, Paris Saint-Germain met Al Nassr, coached by Cristiano Ronaldo, in Osaka, and the game ended in a scoreless tie. However, the presence of superstar attacker Kylian Mbappe hung over the match.
Mbappe was shockingly omitted from the team on the day before Paris Saint-Germain’s departure for their tour of Asia, which has raised questions about his future with the French champions.
A source close to the discussions informed AFP on Monday that the club has received a world record proposal from Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal in the amount of 300 million euros (about 333 million dollars).
Mbappe has never indicated that he is interested in going to the rapidly expanding Saudi league, therefore a trade of this kind could only be completed with his permission.
According to the source, Real Madrid is one of the other teams that has showed an interest in signing the player who is considered to be the most powerful striker in international football.
Patrick M’Boma, a former striker for both PSG and Cameroon who currently works with the club’s academies in Japan, has voiced his dissatisfaction with the stalemate that has persisted and said that he hopes “a solution will be found quickly because he’s a player we want to watch.”
When Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar played in a series of friendlies for Paris Saint-Germain in the previous year, Japanese fans rushed to the stadiums to witness them. This year, though, none of those three players are participating, thus interest has dwindled.
Messi is now playing for a team in the Major League Soccer called Inter Miami, while Neymar has been out since February with a knee injury and has only recently returned to full training after being sidelined.
The influence of such shifting conditions was seen in Osaka’s relatively small audience of 25,432, and they didn’t have much to shout about during the match between PSG and Al Nassr, which ended in a goalless draw after 90 minutes.
After the match, a defender for PSG named Danilo Pereira was quoted as saying, “Kylian Mbappe is a great player and he’s not here.”
“That’s a decision that was made by the club, and I have no comment on it.”
In the very first minute of play, Carlos Soler attempted an audacious free-kick from a distance, but Al Nassr goalkeeper Nawaf Alaqidi was up to the challenge. This was the closest either team got to scoring.
On more than one occasion, Ronaldo was the subject of chants from the audience members.
First, Gianluigi Donnarumma made a save from him from six yards out, and then he attempted an acrobatic overhead kick, but it sailed wide of the goal. Even if it had gone in, it wouldn’t have counted since he was offside.
However, Mbappe’s absence was once again the primary topic of conversation after the game.
If he is unable to come to an agreement with PSG, there have been rumors that he may be benched for the rest of the season or perhaps the whole year.
The club would rather that the 24-year-old player depart now rather than have his contract expire with no pay next summer. The player has one year remaining on his current deal.
The next match for PSG will be against Cerezo Osaka on Friday, and then they will face Inter Milan in Tokyo on the following day.