Kylian Mbappe and his representatives refused to meet with Al Hilal officials in Paris on Wednesday to discuss a possible world-record transfer to Saudi Arabia, it has been reported.

Mbappe’s club Paris St Germain are understood to have given the Saudi Pro League side permission to speak with the France striker over personal terms after receiving a £259million bid for the player in writing.

An Al Hilal delegation was reported to have been hoping to sell their project to Mbappe in Paris while finalising the signing of Brazil striker Malcom from Zenit St Petersburg.

But, according to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Mbappe and his team have refused to enter into any discussions with the Saudi club and he has never considered the option.

Mbappe’s PSG future has been in serious doubt since it emerged in June that he would not extend his existing deal through to 2025, meaning he would become a free agent next summer and be able to discuss a pre-contract agreement with another club as early as January.

PSG have not confirmed the reports that Mbappe has snubbed Al Hilal’s approach, but are understood to be convinced that Mbappe has already agreed a free transfer to Real Madrid next summer.

Parisian sources have said the 24-year-old would benefit from a 160m euro (£138m) signing-on fee if he wound down his existing contract and moved to the Spanish capital in 2024.

Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal have submitted a world record 300 million euro (£259m) bid for Paris St Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, the PA news agency understands.

Mbappe’s future in Paris is in serious doubt after the 24-year-old was left out of the club’s pre-season tour of Japan.

PA understands Al Hilal have submitted a bid in writing for the player, who is out of contract next summer.

Sources close to the French club say there has also been interest in the player from other clubs in recent days, including Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Inter Milan and Barcelona.

The current world record transfer fee was paid by PSG, when they signed Neymar from Barcelona for a deal reported at the time as £200m.

Kylian Mbappe must head to either LaLiga or the Premier League if he wishes to compete at the top level, believes ex-Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar is the subject of another visible public struggle over his future with the Ligue 1 champions amid a contract stand-off.

Having turned down joining Real Madrid last year in favour of a new two-year deal at Parc des Princes, the World Cup-winning forward is now refusing to sign an extension.

That has led to the 24-year-old being dropped for his side's pre-season tour of Asia, and Stoichkov believes Mbappe must force the move abroad if he is to truly challenge himself.

"He is a great player," he told Stats Perform. "We have spoken off camera and he has told me that his greater dream is to win the Ballon d'Or. It is difficult to reach his level and even more so to stay at that level.

"Perhaps PSG opted for him, for [Lionel] Messi, for Neymar, for Sergio Ramos and for [Gianluigi] Donnarumma to have a competitive team and be able to win the Champions League, but it couldn't be.

"If Mbappe wants to compete big, he has to go to the Spanish league or the Premier [League]. In England, there are teams that can sign him, [like] Manchester City, Liverpool or Arsenal.

"But he has to choose the path where he feels most comfortable because it won't be easy. He will have a lot more pressure and with the press on him.

"Kylian is a great guy and very humble. Some say that he is arrogant, but he is not. He is very well off, and he knows very well what he wants to do.

"Hopefully sooner or later Kylian will have the opportunity to lift the Ballon d'Or because he deserves it."

Following a decade-and-a-half dominated by the powers of Mbappe's former team-mate Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the illustrious duo's departure from Europe has effectively ended a sporting era.

Stoichkov believes Mbappe sits near the summit of a new group of players looking to be considered the best in the world, predicting a great rivalry with Erling Haaland and Vinicius Junior.

"Now begins another era with big names, as in mine there was Roberto Baggio, [Michael] Laudrup, me, Michel, [Emilio] Butragueno, [Jurgen] Klinsmann or [Lothar] Matthaus, many great players.

"Then this time came with two phenomena like Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo where the two always fought. Now comes another with a litter of fantastic players.

"Haaland, Mbappe, Vinicius, Pedri, Gavi, other players who can get close. In the coming years, we will see a great rivalry between Haaland, Mbappe and Vinicius who are the strikers who make the big difference."

Christophe Galtier has been sacked by Paris St Germain despite leading them to a record 11th Ligue 1 title in his first season in charge.

PSG confirmed on Wednesday that they had parted company with their 56-year-old coach just weeks after Lionel Messi’s goal secured a 1-1 draw at Strasbourg and an unassailable lead at the top of the table.

A statement on the club’s official website said: “At the end of the 2022-2023 season, Paris Saint-Germain informed Christophe Galtier of its decision to terminate his contract as first-team coach.

 

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“The club would like to pay tribute to his professionalism and commitment, which helped the Rouge et Bleu win a historic eleventh French Championship title and a Trophee des Champions.

 

“The entire Paris Saint-Germain team would like to thank Christophe Galtier, as well as his assistants Thierry Oleksiak and Joao Sacramento, for their professionalism and commitment throughout the season, and wish them all the best for the rest of their careers.”

Galtier’s departure comes after 36-year-old Messi’s exit for MLS side Inter Miami, with PSG still the dominant force in France but having once again failed in their mission to win the Champions League.

The 2020 runners-up went out in the last 16 last season after a 3-0 aggregate defeat by Bayern Munich to prolong owner Qatar Sports Investments’ wait for European success.

Former Spain boss Luis Enrique and ex-Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann have been linked with the impending vacancy in recent weeks, although reports have suggested talks with the German broke down last month.

Kylian Mbappe has told Paris St Germain he will not take up a one-year contract extension, according to reports, so could be sold this summer or will be able to leave as a free agent at the end of next season.

The 24-year-old, signed from Monaco for £160million in 2018 which was a world-record fee for a teenager, continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid.

According to reports, France World Cup winner Mbappe left the PSG hierarchy stunned by the decision which was presented in a formal letter and follows on from Lionel Messi announcing his departure to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

PSG now appear set to have to weigh up whether to sell Mbappe – who scored a hat-trick in France’s defeat by Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final – or see him leave the club for nothing at the end of his current deal in June 2024.

Reports in France had suggested PSG were hopeful over an extension to Mbappe’s contract.

However, Real Madrid could now step up their interest as they look to bolster the forward line after veteran Karim Benzema’s move to Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia.

What the papers say

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha could move to French giants Paris St Germain on a free transfer this summer, the Sun reports. The 30-year-old scored seven goals in 27 games for Crystal Palace in all competitions last season and is reportedly attracting interest from the Ligue 1 champions.

After securing the signature of Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister, Liverpool are looking to add more strength to their midfield with the club linked with Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, the Mirror said. The 28-year-old is in high-demand across the Premier League after Southampton’s relegation to the Championship.

Chelsea are weighing up a deal with Champions League runners up Inter Milan, according to the Sun. The Blues are reportedly offering the Italian club Romelu Lukaku, who is currently there on loan, and Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly as they look to sign Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

James Maddison: Newcastle United are said to be narrowly in front of Tottenham in the battle to secure the 26-year-old Leicester midfielder, valued at £40million, Sky Sports report.

David Raya: Brentford’s Spanish goalkeeper is weighing up offers from Tottenham and Manchester United, with Spurs reportedly close to agreeing personal terms with the 27-year-old, according to Goal.com.

Lionel Messi is reportedly set to join Major League Soccer side Inter Miami with Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal understood to be out of the race.

The 35-year-old Argentina star had been strongly linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, a league which already features Cristiano Ronaldo and now Karim Benzema, with Messi’s two-year contract at Paris St Germain coming to an end this month.

However, the PA news agency understands a move to the Middle East is now no longer on the cards, placing Inter Miami in pole position for Messi.

The Major League Soccer side are co-owned by former England captain David Beckham and were founded in 2018, playing their first season two years later.

Miami recently sacked Beckham’s former Manchester United and England team-mate Phil Neville as coach and are currently bottom of the 15-team Eastern Conference, but they remain a fiercely ambitious club.

The PA news agency understands the Florida side have pulled out all the stops to sign Messi, tying up with various MLS partners like Apple.

A deal in principle has now reportedly been agreed that will see Messi head to the United States after PSG confirmed last week he would be leaving.

Rennes edged out Lille and Monaco to secure a top-four finish while Nantes' first league win since February saw them stay up at Auxerre's expense on a dramatic final day of Ligue 1 action.

Rennes clinched a 2-1 victory against Brest thanks to a Benjamin Bourigeaud brace, seizing on Lille's 1-1 draw with relegated Troyes and Monaco's 2-1 reverse against Toulouse to take fourth.

Bruno Genesio's side thus secured Europa League football for next season, while Paulo Fonseca's Lille must settle for a Europa Conference League spot and Monaco missed out entirely.

Champions Paris Saint-Germain squandered a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss to Clermont, meaning they finished just one point clear of runners-up Lens, who ended the season with a 3-1 win at Auxerre.

That victory allowed Nantes to finalise a great escape in their final game, vaulting Auxerre to secure safety with a 1-0 win over relegated Angers.

Nantes therefore secured top-flight football for another year, evading the expanded four-team relegation zone by a single point ahead of the division being cut to 18 teams.

Auxerre, Ajaccio, Troyes and Angers will play in Ligue 2 next season, with Le Havre and either Metz or Bordeaux coming up from the second tier.

Paris Saint-Germain failed to muster a winning send-off for Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos as they ended the Ligue 1 season by squandering a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss against Clermont.

Early goals for the Spaniard and Kylian Mbappe put the champions on top at Parc des Princes, before Johan Gastien, Mehdi Zeffane and Grejohn Kyei completed a stirring comeback from the visitors.

It was a damp last note for ex-LaLiga heroes Messi and Ramos, who leave Paris as two-time league champions but without having won supporters' hearts – with Messi booed ahead of kick-off.

Likewise, it may prove a dour final chapter for coach Christophe Galtier, who is widely tipped to depart despite leading PSG to a record 11th league title. 

PSG, who wore shirts adorned with the name of injured team-mate Sergio Rico in the first half, needed VAR to rescue them after Kyei prodded home an early finish.

The hosts promptly seized control, with Ramos netting a farewell header from Vitinha's delivery before Mbappe doubled their lead with an excellent penalty following Alidu Seidu's foul on Achraf Hakimi.

Clermont refused to fold though, with Gastien capitalising on Marco Verratti's mistake to halve the arrears and Zeffane bundling in a leveller either side of Kyei putting a spot-kick wide in a thrilling first half.

Messi, who misfired on his farewell, spurned a chance to finish Mbappe's square ball after the restart before Kyei nosed the visitors in front with a close-range finish.

PSG continued to toil for an equaliser in the closing stages and Messi almost stole a point in the final minute of injury time, only for goalkeeper Mory Diaw to stop his direct free-kick with an acrobatic save.

Sergio Ramos will follow Lionel Messi out of Paris St Germain with the French champions confirming the veteran Spanish defender’s exit at the end of his contract.

Ramos has spent the past two seasons at the Parc des Princes after joining from Real Madrid on a free transfer, but he stands to make his final appearance in Saturday’s match against Clermont Foot.

The 37-year-old has won back-to-back Ligue 1 titles with PSG, scoring five goals in 57 appearances, although his form was often questioned and his departure is not seen as a surprise.

“Wearing the Red and Blue shirt for the last two years has been a wonderful experience,” Ramos said in a statement.

“I’ve had an unforgettable adventure in Paris and I’d like to thank you all for your support and love. Allez Paris!”

He later added on Twitter: “Tomorrow will be a special day, tomorrow I will say goodbye to another stage of my life, goodbye to PSG.”

Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said: “We would like to express our immense gratitude to Sergio Ramos for the two years he has spent with us.

“Sergio’s leadership, team spirit and professionalism, combined with his experience at the highest level, make him a true football legend, and it was an honour to have him in Paris. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best.”

Lionel Messi has nothing left to prove in his career and there would be plenty for him to like about playing in Saudi Arabia, according to Steven Nzonzi.

With his time at Paris Saint-Germain seemingly coming to an end after two years, Messi has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, where long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo is already playing with Al-Nassr.

The World Cup winner is also being courted by former club Barcelona in LaLiga, while he has often been connected with the possibility of finishing his career in the United States. 

Messi, 35, has a big decision to make and Nzonzi, who has spent two seasons in the Middle East playing with Al-Rayyan in Qatar, knows a move would make a seismic impact on the region, with its reach stretching beyond football.

With World Cup success for Argentina now secured, Nzonzi does not think Messi should feel any pressure to continue chasing the game's biggest honours, even if the prospect of a return to the "club of his heart" Barca may be appealing.

Nzonzi told Stats Perform: "If you are Messi, I think that you have done everything in football, so you can do whatever you want and be fine with your decision.

"You literally have nothing left to prove. It has been already years and years that he has had nothing left to prove – but now he just got the World Cup too.

"So just an easy decision for him, I would say. Maybe not easy, because it's between Barcelona, the club of his heart, and Saudi Arabia, it might not be so easy, I don't know. 

"But in any case, it would be great for Saudi Arabia if you go there for sure. You [would] have [Cristiano Ronaldo] and Messi, the most famous and two of the best players in the world ever. It's great for the Middle East, for Saudi Arabia and for football in general.

"Of course, [with] a player like Ronaldo going into a league like Saudi Arabia, it's going to boost the league, it’s going to boost the Middle East as well, because it's the whole area that can be impacted by this."

Nzonzi, who won the Europa League during a three-year stay with Sevilla that saw him regularly do battle with Messi at Barca, acknowledges the new league would take some getting used to for the forward after playing at the top level for so long, but thinks the lifestyle has plenty to offer.

Asked about playing in the Middle East, he added: "I've been there, I've stayed there two seasons. It was good, it was challenging, because we're always trying to change.

"It is a big change when you’ve been playing at a high level for a long period of time. I was happy to live there. You know, the lifestyle is great. And the football is good, too.

"You learn in any experience, you learn. And that was the most important thing for me, to keep learning to keep helping other players if I can and keep doing my job. That's what I enjoyed the most."

Despite being unable to help PSG to what remains an elusive Champions League triumph, Messi has been productive in winning Ligue 1 twice. 

This season he has 32 goal involvements (16 goals and 16 assists) in 31 top-flight matches, with Saturday's contest at home to Clermont still to come.

Ronaldo and Al- Nassr, meanwhile, sit second in the Saudi Pro League. The former Real Madrid and Manchester United star has scored 14 goals in 16 league appearances.

Lionel Messi has earned the right to do whatever he wishes with his career, but Shaka Hislop would love to see the Argentine superstar head to MLS.

Messi seems set to leave Paris Saint-Germain after the expiration of his contract.

Christophe Galtier said on Friday that Messi would be playing his last game for PSG when the Ligue 1 champions host Clermont on Saturday.

While the club subsequently told AFP that Galtier had "expressed himself incorrectly and that the match against Clermont would be Messi's last at the Parc with PSG this season", according to L'Equipe, it does appear to be the end of the road in Paris for the 35-year-old.

It has been reported that Barcelona are eager to take Messi back to Catalonia, and there is interest from Saudi Arabia, where Karim Benzema is seemingly headed and Cristiano Ronaldo already plays.

MLS side Inter Miami have long been credited with an interest too, however, and former Newcastle United, Portsmouth and West Ham goalkeeper Hislop - who ended his own career in the United States with FC Dallas - would be thrilled to see Messi head across the Atlantic.

"It would be incredibly huge for MLS, which continues to grow in so many ways," Hislop told Stats Perform.

"I think it brings eyes to this league, it brings an appreciation of this league that has based a lot of its growth around bringing young and exciting South American talent to MLS.

"So to have a not-so-young but exciting South American talent in the league does wonders for it.

"I'm a huge fan of MLS, and its growth because I went to university here, so I know exactly what US Soccer was like through the late 80s and early 90s.

"So to see how it's developed today, I think has been incredible just to witness, so I would love to see him in MLS and have had the sport get that exposure like only he can bring."

Messi joined PSG in 2021 and has played a direct part in 66 goals (32 goals and 34 assists) since making his debut, a tally bettered only by Kylian Mbappe (106) among his team-mates in that timeframe.

Yet Messi has at times faced criticism from PSG's fanbase, especially after he was suspended by the club for a making an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.

Hislop, though, says Messi deserves to play wherever he wants.

"I think Lionel Messi has given this game so much, and at this point, do whatever you want," he said.

"We'll comment and pass judgment on it but he's given this game so much of his life. He's given us all so much to appreciate. I'm all for Lionel Messi doing whatever he wants. I really am."

Lionel Messi was on target as Paris Saint-Germain sealed their record-breaking 11th Ligue 1 title, despite being held to a 1-1 draw at Strasbourg on Saturday.

Messi, who will leave PSG when his contract expires at the end of the season, broke the deadlock with his 16th goal of the season just before the hour at Stade de la Meinau.

Strasbourg substitute Kevin Gameiro thwarted Christophe Galtier's side with a 79th-minute leveller, but the point was enough for PSG to secure a successful Ligue 1 title defence with a match to spare.

Strasbourg's top-flight status was also confirmed after the draw for Frederic Antonetti's hosts maintained their six-point cushion over 17th-placed Nantes, who failed to beat Lille.

Neymar's former Brazil team-mate Willian believes the forward could star for any team in world football, as he continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United.

Neymar has endured a frustrating spell with Paris Saint-Germain since leaving Barcelona in 2017, failing to win the Champions League and never playing more than 22 games in a single Ligue 1 campaign.

The 31-year-old was ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury in March, leaving him to watch PSG's Champions League round-of-16 exit against Bayern Munich from the sidelines. 

With PSG falling short of continental glory once again, both Neymar and fellow attacker Lionel Messi have been linked with a move at the end of the season.

Old Trafford has been suggested as a potential destination for the Brazil star after United clinched a return to the Champions League, and Willian believes he would thrive in England.

"Neymar, with the quality he has, performs anywhere," the Fulham winger told Stats Perform. 

"Wherever he goes in the world, he can easily perform with the quality he has, the talent he has. 

"It would be really cool to see him playing in the Premier League. Wherever he goes, he has the necessary quality to be able to enjoy and play the beautiful football he knows.

"He has a place in any team in the world for his quality. You only need to know if he wants to go to United. 

"It's a great club. For sure, if he goes there, he will be in a huge club. It's a club that has won many titles here, it's considered one of the biggest clubs in England along with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, all big clubs. 

"If he comes to England, no doubt it would be great to see him in the Premier League."

While Neymar could become the latest Selecao star to grace the English top flight, his fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino will seek pastures new after he plays his final game for Liverpool on Sunday.

Asked about Firmino's impact on the Premier League, Willian said: "He made history here. He's a player that I'm a big fan of, he's a star player for me. 

"He made history at Liverpool and won important titles. He is respected not only by Liverpool fans, but he is highly respected here in England. He leaves a legacy here. 

"I don't know if he'll stay in England, but if he leaves, he'll leave a huge legacy of what he did."

Willian was also asked about the performances of Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka, who signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners earlier this week following an outstanding campaign.

"He has the potential to be a great player, he has a lot of talent," Willian said of his fellow wideman.

"He's a player who has all the conditions to keep evolving, being one of Arsenal's big names and, consequently, fighting to be one of the best players in the league, without a doubt."

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain closed in on the Ligue 1 title with a close-fought 2-1 win over Auxerre.

The France captain struck a brace inside the opening eight minutes at Stade de l'Abbe-Deschamps, who responded through Lassine Sinayoko in the second half.

Reigning champions PSG subsequently regain their six-point cushion at the Ligue 1 summit, and require just one point from their final two games to successfully defend their crown.

Meanwhile, 16th-place Auxerre remain just a point above the relegation zone after suffering their first defeat in eight home matches.

Mbappe broke the deadlock in the sixth minute, latching onto Fabian Ruiz’s pass and exquisitely twisting and turning away from his marker before poking a shot into the top corner.

The France captain doubled his side’s advantage two minutes later, bending in a brilliant first-time effort from 20 yards after Hugo Ekitike neatly dummied Lionel Messi's pass.

Messi also went close for the visitors when he shot straight at Ionut Radu, but it was not all one-way traffic as the hosts threatened through Rayan Raveloson, who rattled the crossbar from 25 yards out.

Auxerre pulled a goal back seven minutes after the restart. Nuno da Costa flicked Radu's long goal kick into the path of Sinayoko, who raced away from the defence before drilling past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Mbappe looked to have found his hat-trick late in injury time, only for VAR to overrule his finish, but PSG side clung on regardless to move closer to another triumph.

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