FC Barcelona is set to meet with Paris Saint-Germain over the transfer of Kylian Mbappé, according to L’Equipe, one of the biggest sports outlets in France.
However, there is widespread skepticism that the blaugrana can pull the deal off for one very simple reason: lack of money.
Real Madrid are considered the favorites to sign the forward, who has a tricky situation in Paris right now. He would ideally want to collect a loyalty bonus from PSG before leaving for Madrid next season on a free, collecting a hefty signing bonus in the process.
PSG however, have threatened to bench him if he does not either sign a new contract or agree to leave for a large fee this summer.
Also, Al Hilal have offered Mbappé an insane amount of money to leave the top 5 leagues and join their project, part of an ongoing effort to bring top level talent to the Saudi league.
Barcelona do not have the financial resources at the time to pay the required transfer fee and Mbappé’s considerable salary.
Their only hope rests on exchanging players for him. Two French players are said to interest PSG: Ousmane Dembélé and Jules Koundé. Both are key players for Barcelona and would be worth a good amount, although obviously, Mbappé is on another level.
However, it helps that he is in the last year of his contract and so would come at a reduced price.
Frenkie de Jong could also be interesting; after all, PSG tried their best to sign him from Ajax before he ultimately chose to go to Barcelona.
Another suggested name is that of Gavi. New PSG coach Luis Enrique is a big fan of the youngster, having managed him in the national team.
It would take at least two, if not three or more, players to get PSG to agree to a swap.
Regardless, for a swap deal to occur involving multiple players, it requires all of them to agree to switch clubs. That can quickly become a problem if even one of them says no.
Even after a potential deal is secured, there’s also the tricky issue of salary. Yes, letting some players go will cut down on Barcelona’s wage bill, but Mbappé will command extraordinary wages.
The overall reaction of many journalists and transfer experts is that this deal is highly unlikely - to say the least.