Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe AFP / Alain JOCARD

Kylian Mbappe has reportedly already turned down the opportunity to join Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal through an eye-watering $1.1 billion (£863 million) deal. However, with Paris Saint-Germain still determined to sell him this summer, recent reports have revealed that he may be more open to a possible move to Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States.

Following the footsteps of Lionel Messi

It may be remembered that former FC Barcelona and PSG forward Lionel Messi made the switch to the MLS earlier this summer. After his two-year deal with the Ligue 1 champions expired at the end of the 2022-23 campaign, he also received a lucrative offer from the Saudi Pro League.

However, the Argentine chose to go to the MLS where he says he would play under less pressure. He also said that he planned to enjoy more time with his family while staying focused on playing top level football.

The atmosphere at the MLS will largely be perceived as less of a pressure cooker than playing in Europe, or perhaps even in Saudi Arabia (mostly because of the sudden arrival of numerous stars). However, Messi still made sure that the move was worth his while.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner signed a two-and-a-half year deal with David Beckham's team, where he is expected to earn something in the vicinity of $150 million (£117m). This amount includes a signing bonus, his salary, plus an equity in the team. Details are scarce but Messi is also believed to have revenue-sharing stakes in sponsorship agreements with brands like Adidas, Apple and Fanatics.

According to Sportico, the intricate deal is a first of its kind, and it is something that Mbappe may also consider as he looks at his options for the future.

With Mbappe closing the door on Saudi Arabia, at least for now, he may think about heading to the United States on a short-term deal before finally joining Real Madrid possibly in the summer of 2024. However, no one can stop an MLS club from offering a long-term option that could put the Real Madrid transfer in jeopardy.

The report claims than an MLS club could use the structure of the agreement that brought Messi stateside to formulate an attractive offer to tempt Mbappe. A long-term deal would be ideal for the MLS, but with Mbappe determined to play for Real Madrid, a short-term offer is more likely to be accepted by the striker.

He could come on a one-year deal until the summer of 2024 and join Real Madrid on a free transfer next summer. This is essentially the same provision that was thought to have been offered by Al-Hilal. The short stint could potentially lay the foundation for a longer MLS run later in his career as well.

Where is Mbappe now?

All of these transfer talks are hypothetical because as we speak, Mbappe is effectively still a PSG player and his contract does not end until June 2024. However, he has been banished from the first team squad and trained with the reserves on Monday.

The 24-year-old was also left out of the pre-season tour of Asia earlier this summer, and he will more than likely be left out of the squad when PSG open their Ligue 1 campaign this Saturday. The club will begin their title defence against Lorient this weekend, with Mbappe in the sidelines unless a major U-turn is witnessed.

Real Madrid has remained mum on the situation thus far, and it remains to be seen if they will make a sudden swoop in the closing stages of the transfer window.