Mbappé’s dilemma: when to announce his decision…

Kylian Mbappé has entered a decisive phase regarding his future. Several media outlets, including Le Parisien and ESPN, assured on Saturday that the player has already decided to play for Real Madrid next season – despite PSG’s claims that they have no knowledge about the player’s decision and have no idea what he will do in June. While previous episodes lead us to believe that nothing can be taken for granted in this soap opera, it’s clear that the France captain will soon have to announce where he will be playing next season.

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Timing of Mbappé’s announcement will be crucial

At some point, the 25-year-old forward will face a dilemma – he must analyze, point by point, the best scenario for him – and the one that would cause the least disruption to his club, PSG. If he has decided, as Le Parisien asserts, that he will leave Paris, one option would be to confirm it before this month’s Champions League Round of 16 tie against Real Sociedad. That’s a scenario that was proposed by L’Équipe in December – getting it over with now could free him and thus avoid prolonging a soap opera that could torment him until the season ends in May, as it did in 2022.

Potentially crossing paths with Real Madrid in the Champions League

However, other observers have told French media that announcing such a decision now, with the remaining half of the season ahead, could affect the team’s performance. On top of that, if PSG beats Real Sociedad, there is always the chance that they might face Real Madrid in the next round or hypothetically further down the road in the Champions League. Such a scenario could create a host of different problems, as Le Parisien highlights. For example, what would happen in the event that the player has to take a penalty or PSG lose the tie? It would raise doubts about his commitment. When it comes to his image and how he is portrayed in the media, Mbappé has always carefully analyzed every detail.

Taking care of Mbappé’s public image

The fact that Mbappé works closely with an agency specialized in the image and communication of elite athletes suggests that he will most likely wait for PSG to finish their Champions League campaign before speaking out. He will likely carve out a favorable context to sway public opinion so that fans don’t feel disappointed. One aspect that the player cannot control however is the news that will circulate once he personally notifies Al Khelaïfi that he will not renew, since L’Équipe, RMC and Le Parisien provide practically up-to-the-minute information on everything that surrounds the club and its star players.

There is always the possibility that Mbappé could speak out sooner rather than later. After winning the Super Cup on 3 January, the player himself spoke about the issue when asked about his future in the mixed zone. He told reporters that, “It makes no sense to prolong a decision like two years ago if you have already made a decision…” So that’s the dilemma. Announcing it now or at the end of the season entails pros and cons – if he reveals that he doesn’t want to continue in Paris. Because if this soap opera has taught us anything, it is that nothing, not even the strongest evidence, can lead us to a definite outcome.


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