Neymar and Kylian Mbappé’s days at Paris Saint-Germain could be numbered following the emergence of new details about UEFA’s ongoing investigations into alleged ‘financial fair play’ (FFP) breaches by the Ligue 1 club.
European football’s governing body is looking closely into PSG’s acquisition of the pair (for 222m and 180m euros, respectively), and with the Parisians potentially facing exclusion from the Champions League – the stiffest punishment said to be being considered – they may be forced to sell one of the two superstars.
Both forwards have long been on Real Madrid’s radar, particularly in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s summer departure for Juventus, and the LaLiga giants are keeping close tabs on the situation as they eye a big-name signing to strengthen this season’s squad.
Neymar would be the preferred target for Madrid, who unsuccessfully went after the Brazilian last summer. What’s more, while PSG owner Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s priority would previously have been to hold on to the ex-Barcelona ace, Mbappé now looks to be the less likely of the two to be let go.
A local boy and a World Cup winner with France, the 19-year-old has blossomed into the side’s most important player and the fans’ chief idol, with figures that back up his standing: this season, he has 13 goals and six assists to his name in all competitions.
On the other hand, Neymar sat out a large portion of last season through injury. A broken foot suffered in February confined him to the sidelines for a run-in in which PSG did not overly miss the 26-year-old, winning Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue without their world-record signing.
It has been revealed that Madrid were close to taking Mbappé to the Bernabéu in summer 2017, agreeing a fee of 180m euros for the then-Monaco starlet, only for the striker to finally opt for PSG instead. When he moved to the French capital, he tried – without success – to have a clause inserted in his contract granting him financial compensation were the club ever barred from the Champions League.