Madrid eagerly awaits Kylian Mbappe after PSG exit confirmed

Madrid eagerly awaits Mbappe after PSG exit confirmed
Madrid eagerly awaits Mbappe after PSG exit confirmedAFP
Excitement is soaring with the mercury in the sunny streets of the Spanish capital as Real Madrid fans await the arrival of French striker Kylian Mbappe.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward confirmed Friday he is leaving the Ligue 1 side after seven years and although he did not spell out his future, the world expects only one destination.

Madrid have chased Mbappe for years without success but are finally poised to secure the 25-year-old at the end of his PSG deal.

"We've been waiting for Kylian for a while now, but I think this is it, we're almost there," said jubilant 31-year-old Real Madrid fan Victor Espinoza on Saturday morning.

The French national team captain's name was on everyone's lips -- those hawking Madrid merchandise on match days have been selling Mbappe scarves for weeks.

Los Blancos became Spanish champions for the 36th time last week with four games to spare in La Liga and reached the Champions League final this week by overcoming Bayern Munich.

Signing Mbappe, as the Spanish media report is now an inevitability, only seems a matter of time and could cap a glorious few weeks for Madrid president Florentino Perez.

"Au revoir" ran the headline in Spanish sports daily AS, who report Mbappe's signing will be announced in the next few weeks "barring any major surprises".

Madrid are not expected to make any announcement until the end of the season, after the Champions League final against Dortmund at Wembley on June 1st.

In front of the metallic new-look Bernabeu stadium, Madrid fans were in no doubt Mbappe will finally join.

"Mbappe should have been at Real Madrid years ago! All he needs to do now is sign, we're waiting for him!" said Helena Martin, a 42-year-old teacher, as she left the stadium shop.

"He finished his era in Paris, now he's going to come and enjoy it here in Madrid. He's the best player in the world, and he'll continue to be so here. We can't wait for him," added Espinoza.

Gabriel Urrutia, a 37-year-old club member, insists that Madrid fans, who have felt snubbed by Mbappe in the past when he decided to stay in Paris, have already "forgiven him for everything".

"Especially since he knocked out Barça," he joked, referring to PSG's Champions League quarter-final victory over Madrid's arch-rivals.

"We'll welcome him here with open arms and hope to win everything with him next season."

Mbappe will leave PSG this summer
Mbappe will leave PSG this summerAFP

'A lot of stars'

Mbappe has never won the Champions League, which has been PSG's main ambition during his time at the club.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, have lifted the trophy five times in the last decade.

"Today it's Mbappe who needs Real Madrid, more than Real needs him," added Urrutia.

"A few years ago, it might have been the other way round, but if he wants to win the Champions League and the Ballon d'Or, there's no better place to be."

The biggest questions around Mbappe are his position, as Madrid's star attacker Vinicius Junior also likes to play off the left flank, and how he will adapt.

"There are a lot of stars at Real Madrid, and he's going to have to learn to shine like another star in the team," warned Martin.

"He'll have to adapt to being just another player, not the one who's above it all."

Spanish media report Mbappe's grand unveiling at the Bernabeu is scheduled for the first week of June, after the Champions League final and before Les Bleus set off for Euro 2024, starting in Germany on June 14th.

With no transfer outlay, Madrid can pay Mbappe one of the highest salaries in the club's history, reportedly around 35 million euros (£30.2 million) per season.

It is a rung above the team's two current star names, Vinicius and Jude Bellingham, but a far cry from his hefty remittance in Paris.

Mbappe may also arrive with a signing bonus of over 100 million euros (£86.1 million) and an unprecedented share of his image rights.

However Madrid supporters do not have to worry about the cost and are already dreaming about their dream new Galactico's potential impact on the field.

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