$776m-a-season Mbappe offer eclipses LeBron’s life earnings

Wednesday July 26 2023

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe (C) looks on as he warms up before the French L1 football match in Auxerre, central France, on May 21, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


Paris Saint-Germain’s French star Kylian Mbappe’s potential earnings at Al-Hilal in one season, a staggering $776 million which is the equivalent of Ksh110 billion as per the current exchange rates, has sent shockwaves across the globe.

This eye-watering figure which factors in commercial arrangements and image rights on top of his salary, eclipses  the earnings of prominent athletes in other sports.

For instance, Mbappé's potential earnings outstrip the all-time NBA earnings of LeBron James of Ksh22.3 billion ($157 million), the largest deal in sports history worth Ksh70.17 billion ($494 million) that quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed with Kansas City Chiefs in the National Football League (American football) in 2020 over 10 years, and retired quarter Tom Brady’s all-time earnings in the NFL of Ksh47.16 billion ($332 million) over 23 seasons.

It eclipses American superstar Tiger Woods’ career earnings of Ksh22.4 billion ($157 million) in Professional Golf Association. 

If he moves to Saudi Arabia, Mbappe would likely become the highest paid player in football, eclipsing the reported Ksh32.4 billion ($228.1 million) a year earned by Cristiano Ronaldo at Qatari club Al Nassr after his move from Manchester United in December.

Read: Karim Benzema signs for Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad


On Monday, PSG received a world record bid of Ksh47.08 billion ($333 million) for Kylian Mbappe from Saudi club Al Hilal.

"Real Madrid -- the club widely thought to be leading the chase for the most potent forward in world football -- are among a number of other clubs to have expressed an interest," a source close to the negotiations told AFP on Monday.

The source added that Saudi club Al Hilal have made a formal offer by letter, but such a transfer could only be made with the agreement of Mbappe who has never expressed an interest in moving to the fast-growing Saudi league.

“The club has given permission to Al Hilal to speak with Mbappe. That’s the request of the letter and that’s been granted,” the PSG source said.

Riyadh-based Al Hilal are one of the handful of clubs owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). They have already signed central defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea and Ruben Neves from Wolves this summer.

Mbappe, 24, has one year left on his contract with PSG, who want him to leave now rather than for nothing next summer. But Mbappe is refusing to sign a new contract and the French champions believe he has already struck a deal to move to Real Madrid next year for nothing.

“In the group so far that have expressed their interest there are Manchester United, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Tottenham and obviously the Saudi club and Real Madrid,” the source said.

The approach from Real appears to represent a change in tactics by the 13-time European champions, who tried to sign Mbappe last year before he agreed to stay with PSG alongside Neymar and the now-departed Lionel Messi.

Read: Lionel Messi decides to join MLS side Inter Miami

It is widely thought that Real hoped to pick up Mbappe for free next year, attracting him with a colossal signing fee because they would not have to pay PSG anything for his services.

Mbappe was still a teenager when he joined PSG on a season-long loan from Monaco in August 2017. The move turned into a permanent transfer the following year in a 180-million-euro deal.

That fee is exceeded only by Neymar who cost PSG Ksh34.8 billion ($244.98 million) in 2017.