Champions League

Madrid have United to thank if they sign star, feels pundit

Britain Soccer Champions League Final-the12thman

A Paris Saint-Germain sensation will join Los Blancos, as per one ESPN FC pundit

Kylian Mbappe will surely move to the Spanish capital soon, as per Steve Nicol, and for a variety of reasons. The youngster was also a target for Real Madrid before he made the move to PSG from Ligue 1 rivals Monaco for an eye-watering £166 million in 2017. The France international has since been under the Real radar, and has once again been linked with a summer move to the Bernabeu.

Just last week, the World Cup winner was powerless in preventing PSG from embarrassingly exiting the Champions League at the last-16 stage to Manchester United. The French champions were one of the firm favourites to win the competition until the shock 3-1 second leg home defeat to the Red Devils at the Parc des Princes.

And Nicol believes this defeat will make Mbappe make up his mind about leaving PSG and jumping ship to Real. he did add the caveat that the transfer will not happen until next year. “Well they almost got him 12 months, 18 months ago,” Nicol said when queried about Mbappe’s future. What is of no doubt is that there will not be a shortage of suitors if the forward does decide to head out the exit door at PSG.

“PSG got in there at the end and persuaded him to go there. I think the result against Man United during the week has made this somewhat possible. I would have said ‘absolutely not’ this time last week. But today I’m saying I think eventually this is going to happen. It’s not going to happen in the summer but I think maybe 18 months this guy will be at Real Madrid.”

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen is another top-tier talent who has been reported to be a target of Madrid, who just days back shockingly reappointed Zinedine Zidane as manager. But Nicol cannot envision Spurs allowing the Dane to leave. “No, don’t see it happening,” Nicol opined. “Spurs don’t have the money to go out and buy players right now because of the stadium. That means nobody is coming in, which means nobody is going out. As good as Eriksen is and as good as he would be at Real Madrid, again I don’t see him moving anywhere.”

Author’s take

There is a lot of sense in Nicol’s words, for the damaging exit at the hands of United will surely raise doubts in the mind of Mbappe regarding whether the Parisian giants can ever fulfill their stated ambition of winning the continental crown after yet another meek capitulation at the first hurdle.

Though it is too soon to say what he will decide, such thoughts will surely have gone through the 20-year-old’s mind, who revealed recently that the Champions League has left his sleepless and unsure. Alarm bells must surely be ringing in the corridors of the PSG office, and the club’s chiefs would do well to have sit-down talks with the highly-talented player.

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