Did Real Madrid Really Sign Kylian Mbappe for Free?

Although Mbappe's transfer is described as a free move because his contract with PSG has ended, the financial details reveal a more intricate situation.

Kylian Mbappe's childhood dream of playing for Real Madrid finally became a reality this week. The official announcement was brief, yet it marked the culmination of over a decade of speculation and anticipation: “Real Madrid C. F. and Kylian Mbappe have reached an agreement for him to be a Real Madrid player for the next five seasons.”

This 24-word statement arrived amid the emotional high of celebrating their 15th European Cup victory, which had concluded less than 24 hours earlier. While the move has been labeled a free transfer due to Mbappe's contract with PSG expiring, the reality of the financials behind the transfer tells a more complex story.

Despite the absence of a traditional transfer fee, Real Madrid's acquisition of Mbappe involved substantial monetary commitments. According to French media, specifically L'Equipe, Mbappé had promised PSG's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi that if he left on a free transfer, he would forgo an €80 million loyalty bonus.

Moreover, Mbappe allegedly offered to share a portion of the signing-on fee he would receive from Real Madrid with PSG. This gesture was in line with Mbappe’s repeated declarations of loyalty to PSG, a club he referred to as his home. The intricacies of the deal were further detailed by the reputable journalist Ben Jacobs, who confirmed that Real Madrid would pay an enormous signing-on fee of €150 million.

Thus, while no transfer fee was paid to PSG, the transaction was far from cost-free. The €150 million signing-on fee to Mbappe is a staggering sum that reflects the value and expectations placed upon one of the world’s most talented footballers.

This fee, combined with the wages and potential bonuses over the five-year contract, constitutes a significant financial outlay for Real Madrid. In summary, while Real Madrid did not pay a direct transfer fee to PSG for Kylian Mbappe, the term "free transfer" is somewhat misleading.

The €150 million signing-on fee paid to Mbappe highlights the substantial financial investment involved in securing his services. The dream has been realized, but at a significant cost that underscores the complex nature of modern football transfers.

Got questions about history, trivia, facts or anything else?

Follow us on social media! Send us your questions, and we might answer them here on the site.