Paris St Germain have granted superstar striker Kylian Mbappe permission to talk to Al Hilal after the Saudi Arabian club submitted a world-record £259million offer, the PA news agency understands.
The 24-year-old has not signed a one-year extension to his existing contract with PSG, meaning he will be a free agent next summer and could leave for nothing.
The player who was instrumental in France’s success at the 2018 World Cup and again when Les Bleus reached the final in Qatar last year has been left out of PSG’s squad for the pre-season tour of Japan.
PSG’s move signaled to other clubs that the player is available for sale this summer, prompting a mammoth €300m bid from Al Hilal.
Sources close to the French club claim that there has also been interest in the player from other clubs in recent days, including Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Inter Milan and Barcelona.
If the Al Hilal deal goes through, it would surpass the world record transfer fee paid by PSG to Barcelona for Neymar in 2017, which was reported to be £200m at the time.
PSG are confident Mbappe has agreed a free move to Real Madrid next summer, with sources in Paris saying he would benefit from a €160m (£138m) buy-in fee if he ends his current deal in 2024 and moves to the Spanish capital.
A sale this summer would allow PSG to secure a return on their investment in Mbappe, who they signed for €180m from Monaco and retained last summer on a lucrative new deal amid earlier interest from Real.
The ball is now firmly in Mbappe’s court to decide his future.
Al Hilal is one of four Saudi Pro League clubs now majority-owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund with assets under management said to be worth over £500 billion.
The club – along with three others majority-controlled by PIF – have already invested heavily in the European transfer market this summer, but the acquisition of Mbappe, who is arguably the best player on the planet at the moment, would be Saudi Arabia’s biggest show of strength yet.