The domestic season may be over and Euro 2020 may be underway, but that does nothing to stop transfers from happening as teams prepare for the 2021/22 season.
One of the potential headline transfers this summer is Kylian Mbappe moving away from Paris Saint-Germain.
The 22-year-old has revealed he is undecided over his future at the club and it is not too hard to see why.
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The 2018 World Cup winner has clear ambitions to be regarded as the greatest footballer in the world and to take on the mantle with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both edging closer to retirement.
Mbappe has won every domestic title going at Paris Saint-Germain, but what is evidently missing from his decorated CV is a Champions League winners medal. The closest he has come to achieving the feat has been a semi-final exit with AS Monaco in 2017 and the final with PSG in 2020.
Mbappe has scored 111 goals in 127 appearances for PSG since joining from Monaco in August 2017 and his current contract expires in June 2022.
Aged 22 and ahead of a domestic league campaign that could be relatively unaffected by Covid-19 and may follow a routine schedule, now seems an appropriate time in his career to move with the 2022 Qatar World Cup not too far away.
But what could be his next destination be?
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Madrid have flirted with Mbappe for years and still appear to be determined to sign the forward despite the La Liga giants' perilous financial situation.
A disappointing 20/21 season for Real could further motivate club president Florentino Perez to get the deal done with Carlo Ancelotti now installed to reinvigorate an ailing squad.
It's clear that Real are heavily reliant on 33-year-old Karim Benzema and landing Mbappe would mean a formidable attacking duo who are expected to regularly play alongside each other at this summer's European Championships. Benzema may even be tasked with convincing Mbappe to come to Real this summer.
With Erling Haaland and Harry Kane potentially also on the market this transfer window, it has always been Mbappe that has been top of Real's list.
Liverpool's attack was less potent last season than during their title-winning 2019/20 campaign and Mbappe would undoubtedly bolster their front line.
He would provide exciting competition with Roberto Firmino for the central striker role and Mbappe fans around the world would undoubtedly like to see the Frenchman test himself in the world's best league. Mbappe's electric pace and flexibility to play on either wing would also be traits boss Jurgen Klopp would be enthused to have at his disposal. Mbappe even spoke of his admiration for Liverpool last year.
"Performances like they have been having don't just happen," he said in May last year. "To be as ruthless as they have been would come from lots of hard work in training and from having a very good manager."
The big question mark with Liverpool could be financial and whether they have the resources to make an offer PSG would be willing to accept.
Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in an end of season interview with the club's official media channels that the club are going to try and sign a high-profile replacement for Sergio Aguero this summer.
"We lose a very important legend in Sergio Aguero, very hard shoes to fill, but I’m confident we will find the right player to fill those shoes," he said. "There's other areas within the team that obviously need investment, not too many, it’s not about numbers."
City can spend any fee they want for a striker and they evidently want one, but who will fit best into Pep Guardiola's specialist style of play?
Haaland and Kane have been heavily linked to City, but do they fit what Guardiola wants from his leading striker? Mbappe's ability to play off the shoulder in a possession-dominant side seems more fitting with the Premier League champions. It could be a perfect match.
Remain at PSG
"I will be clear," PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi told L'Equipe. "Mbappe is going to stay in Paris.
"We will never sell I'm and he will never leave on a free [transfer]. Mbappe has everything he needs in Paris."
PSG's Qatari owners are keen to keep Mbappe at the club at least until the Qatar World Cup in 2022 and Mbappe leaving could spell a PR crisis in the eyes of Al-Khelaifi and Qatar Sports Investments.
Nasser Al Khelaifi & Kylian Mbappe
Image credit: Getty Images
Mbappe is said to be in talks over a new contract with PSG. Being from Paris, the idea of remaining as the poster boy in his home nation could be more appealing than challenging himself in a tougher domestic league.
However, PSG's failure to win the Champions League after coming so close in the last two seasons may have left Mbappe with little patience.
He will surely need convincing that the club can provide quality signings to really elevate PSG's chances in the Champions League next season if he is to remain in France.
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