Kylian Mbappé still is not planning to extend his contract beyond June 2024 at Paris Saint-Germain despite the latest threat from president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and he is beginning to assume he might have to leave this summer with Real Madrid as his preferred option, sources told ESPN.
Al-Khelaifi's comments have not impressed or intimidated the PSG forward. Sources told ESPN that Mbappé, who is in Cameroon for three days on holiday, is relaxed about the situation.
Meanwhile, Madrid remain hopeful of being able to conclude a deal they estimate will be worth more than €200 million ($217.87m), but they want Mbappé or PSG to make the first move before negotiations officially begin.
Madrid want to avoid last summer's drama when the France captain decided to sign a new contract with PSG at the last minute despite Madrid being confident that his arrival appeared to be over the line.
The strategy of the team and Madrid president Florentino Pérez is to keep a low profile and wait for Mbappé or PSG to make the first step toward a transfer before making a definitive bid for his signature.
Madrid is the only club Mbappé wants to join this summer, sources told ESPN, and they are the only team who can afford him.
ESPN reported that the LaLiga giants have everything in place for when they get the green light either from Mbappé or PSG. They are aware the deal will exceed €200m given the fee, add-ons and commission.
According to ESPN sources, there has been no contact between the two clubs but Madrid have been talking to Mbappé's entourage for some time.
Last month, Mbappé publicly said he wanted to stay at PSG for another season but Al-Khelaifi was clear this week with an ultimatum to his star player.
"Kylian must decide in a week or two at the most. If he doesn't sign a new contract, we will sell him. It's not negotiable," Al-Khelaifi said Wednesday in an introductory news conference for manager Luis Enrique.
According to ESPN sources, PSG have put themselves in a much weaker position with negotiations by being so public about Mbappé's contract situation.
Mbappé has never promised PSG that he would not leave as a free agent, but he would prefer to leave with the club receiving a transfer fee so they have funds to sign a replacement.
Sources said there has been no progress with negotiations between PSG and Mbappé. The forward is set to receive a loyalty bonus worth €70m from PSG if he stays for another season, but Madrid are confident it won't hinder their chances of signing him.