Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe watching Saturday's game at the Parc des Princes from the stands AFP / Miguel MEDINA

On Sunday, Paris Saint-Germain made a sudden U-turn and announced that Kylian Mbappé has once again been reinstated into the Paris Saint-Germain first-team. The move comes after the player was banished into the "bomb squad" over the past few weeks due to his refusal to sign a contract extension.

Earlier this summer, Mbappe was dropped from the list of travelling players who joined PSG's pre-season tour of South Korea and Japan. Then, when the squad returned to training in Paris earlier this month, Mbappe was sent to train with the reserves and was even left to watch from the bench as PSG opened their Ligue 1 campaign against Lorient at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

Mbappe was seen on the stands alongside new signing Ousmane Dembele as their teammates struggled in the first match of their Ligue 1 title defence. The match ended in a 0-0 draw, and just hours later, the tide appears to have turned for Mbappe.

A sudden change of heart

The 24-year-old was suddenly accepted back into the first-team squad after having been warned that he will spend the entire 2023-24 season on the bench due to the contract stalemate.

"Following very constructive, positive talks between PSG and Kylian Mbappé before the game vs Lorient, the player has been reinstated into the first team training squad this morning," PSG said in a statement on Sunday.

It has to be pointed out that Mbappe never wanted to leave PSG this summer. He clearly stated that he wanted to stay for the remaining year of his contract which expires in the summer of 2024. However, he did not want to pick up the option to renew for another year, and this irked the higher ups at the club. No one wanted to lose their star player on a free transfer, hence the push to offload him this year for a significant fee.

An ultimatum was laid down by Al-Khelaifi last month, pressuring Mbappe to sign an extension or leave. However, the player refused to entertain talks with Saudi club Al-Hilal, and no offer came from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

PSG had been willing to accept the world record transfer fee of $332 million (258 million pounds) from Al-Hilal, but his refusal meant that the conversations never advanced. The $1.1 billion deal could have made Mbappe the highest-paid player of all time, but that deal has now gone up in flames.

Mbappé is thought to have been planning to join Real Madrid on a free transfer next summer, but the tone of PSG's reinstatement may prove otherwise. It is still unclear if he has agreed to sign an extension, but Real Madrid fans are livid. Some were hoping that a last-minute deal would be sorted this summer, but the player appears to have snubbed the Spanish giants once more in favour of his current club.

PSG are said to have offered Mbappe a revised one-year deal which includes a guaranteed sale clause. This basically means that they will let him leave next summer if he wishes, but instead of leaving on a free transfer, the move will have to include a transfer fee due to his extension until 2025. It remains to be seen if some version of this contract has been signed. Likewise, football fans are wondering how Real Madrid will react if they will be forced to pay a transfer fee after being led to believe that the player will be available for free in a year's time.

The club confirmed that Mbappe will now be part of Luis Enrique's rotation for this season. Mbappe is expected to join the first team squad in training this week, and should be available next Saturday when PSG face Toulouse.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe AFP / Alain JOCARD