sport news PETE JENSON: Man City and PSG have replaced Real Madrid as the go-to ... trends now

sport news PETE JENSON: Man City and PSG have replaced Real Madrid as the go-to ... trends now
sport news PETE JENSON: Man City and PSG have replaced Real Madrid as the go-to ... trends now

sport news PETE JENSON: Man City and PSG have replaced Real Madrid as the go-to ... trends now

So in the end it was not Kylian Mbappe’s dream to play for Real Madrid. They will not enjoy his prime years at the Santiago Bernabeu. There will be no grand unveiling this summer and, even worse, there is not a single euro of compensation coming their way because nothing was signed.

It’s a decision that illustrates perfectly how much football has changed since the early 2000’s when Real Madrid bought a superstar a season. Not just in the way that Manchester City (Erling Haaland) and Paris Saint Germain (Mbappe) have replaced Real Madrid as the go-to club for every prospective Balon d’Or winner.

But also in the way players now laugh in the face of clubs expecting free transfers to actually be ‘free’, or wanting them to sign pre-contracts.

Kylian Mbappe has signed a new deal with PSG to keep him at the French club until 2025

 Kylian Mbappe has signed a new deal with PSG to keep him at the French club until 2025

When Real Madrid successfully pursued Figo from Barcelona in 2000 Florentino Perez said he would pay all the club’s supporters season tickets if Figo did not end up signing. He could make the promise because Figo had signed an agreement that meant if he renegaded on joining Madrid he would have to pay them 30m euros.

There was no such pre-agreement this time. If Perez had suggested such a commitment to Mbappe’s mother Fayza Lamari he would have been told: thanks but I don’t think we’ll be doing that.

The player played his hand perfectly running down his deal and therefore not just earning a new contract and salary, but his very transfer fee estimated at around 150m euros. Madrid were offering 130m.

‘Kylian has betrayed Real Madrid and he has betrayed himself and his own childhood dream,’ said one Madrid reporter on late-night radio. Spain’s biggest late-night football show 'El Chiringuito' meanwhile said that Perez had been speaking to Mbappe on Skype every 15 days - one can only imagine how the last few conversations were: ‘the screen seems to have frozen Kylian, are you still there?'

The striker looked likely to join Real Madrid, but he will now remain in the French capital

The striker looked likely to join Real Madrid, but he will now remain in the French capital

Real used to buy a superstar a season but Manchester City and PSG have overtaken them

Real used to buy a superstar a season but Manchester City and PSG have overtaken them

The word traitor has been bandied around a lot too. A term so over-used in so many spheres that it deserves to be retired on grounds of exhaustion. When the PSG fans chanted ‘Puta Madrid, Puta Madrid’ (F*cking Madrid, F*cking Madrid) that was definitely treachery, said another sad-faced Madrid correspondent. Others less partizan

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