Paris Saint-Germain attacker Kylian Mbappe has emerged as the heir apparent to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as football’s next great superstar.
In the summer of 2018, his stratospheric rise was capped as he became the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score in a World Cup final, netting twice as France defeated Croatia 4-2 in Moscow.
Around a year earlier, however, he had again hit the headlines as he traded Monaco for Paris Saint-Germain, becoming the most expensive teenager in the history of the game as he moved for an astonishing €180 million (£166m/$212m).
It was a move that he could not resist as he was offered the chance to be a home-town hero, having grown up in the suburb of Bondy. Indeed, Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev has revealed that Mbappe turned down the chance to go to Real Madrid at the same time for an identical prive.
However, Mbappe is a known admirer of Ronaldo, having been pictured as a youngster with his bedroom walls covered in pictures of the Portugal ace, and he has been touted to follow in the attacker’s footsteps and join the Santiago Bernabeu side, who are still seeking a replacement for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
But what might it take to lure the 20-year-old away from Paris, where he has scored 38 goals in 64 outings, laying on another 25, and has a contract that runs until 2022?
What is Kylian Mbappe's release clause?
Kylian Mbappe does not have a release clause in his Paris Saint-Germain contract.
While in Spain each player must have such a fee written into their deal, in France the contrary is true. Indeed, it is illegal for such clauses to be included in contracts.
It is possible that he has a gentleman’s agreement with the board of PSG to allow him to leave if some condition, such as winning the Champions League, is triggered, although such an accord is not legally binding.
How much is Kylian Mbappe worth?
When Kylian Mbappe signed for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017, the deal was initially a loan. When it became permanent a year later, he was officially the second most expensive player in the history of football, with his fee totalling €180m.
Since then, his value has spiralled and it is widely predicted that it would take a world-record fee to part PSG with a player they believe can become an icon of the club.
Transfermarkt rates the forward as being worth €200m, which is more than any other player in the world – including his team-mate Neymar, who comes in at €180m.
Meanwhile, the CIES Observatory, who ranked the transfer value of all the footballers in the top leagues by an algorithm that accounts for a variety of factors, including age, production, current league and contract, also placed Mbappe as the most valuable player in the game. Their estimate is that he is worth €218.5 million.
Those inside the game, however, believe that if he were to move, it would be for a substantially larger fee.
Vasilyev, who was part of the deal that saw Mbappe leave Monaco for PSG, told ESPN in August 2018: “I think his value is now €250-300m.”
If any club seriously wishes to sign the forward, then, it is likely that they are going to have to make history in order to do so.