Exclusive Ben Jacobs column: Kylian Mbappe latest, Chelsea to block wonderkid transfer, Bruno Guimaraes, and more | OneFootball

Exclusive Ben Jacobs column: Kylian Mbappe latest, Chelsea to block wonderkid transfer, Bruno Guimaraes, and more | OneFootball

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·14 June 2023

Exclusive Ben Jacobs column: Kylian Mbappe latest, Chelsea to block wonderkid transfer, Bruno Guimaraes, and more

Article image:Exclusive Ben Jacobs column: Kylian Mbappe latest, Chelsea to block wonderkid transfer, Bruno Guimaraes, and more

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PSG won’t put up with games from Kylian Mbappe, but could he head to Real Madrid or the Premier League?

PSG intend to sell Kylian Mbappe this summer if a new deal isn’t agreed. The news puts Real Madrid on red alert, although their plan has always been to move in 2024. We now have to wait and see if that changes.

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Mbappe wrote a letter to PSG, first revealed by L’Equipe, stating he won’t be activating a one-year extension on his current 2+1 deal. That means his contract will expire in 2024. PSG will not risk losing Mbappe on a free meaning if no new contract is agreed the French star will be available on the market.

PSG are fuming with the manner in which they received the news. The letter was leaked to the media before they saw it. And there was no real need from Mbappe to write and confirm he wouldn’t be extending. Contractually, Mbappe had until July 31 to trigger the extension. Had he not done so then the option would have been automatically removed on August 1.

Article image:Exclusive Ben Jacobs column: Kylian Mbappe latest, Chelsea to block wonderkid transfer, Bruno Guimaraes, and more

Kylian Mbappe to leave PSG?

Mbappe has responded with a slightly different story stating he verbally told PSG he wouldn’t activate the extra year on July 15, 2022. The letter he sent on Monday also has this date on it.

PSG are not sure yet if the letter is simply a tactic, but they are upset with the manner in which it was released and quite prepared to sell Mbappe if an offer comes in and the player indicates he won’t extend.

PSG sources point out they have already initiated talks over the past few months about a renewal, and there is the option included for other investment projects. The Mbappe camp dispute this. The whole situation is turning into a war of words.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is intent on overseeing a new culture at the club and is determined for PSG not to be beholden to a handful of stars. The days of player power are over at the Parc des Princes. The focus is on young (and where possible French) talent. And there will be new investment coming into the club this summer. As exclusively revealed, Arctos are one of multiple suitors seeking a 5-15% stake in PSG.

So although Mbappe is highly valued, and PSG want him to stay, Al-Khelaifi won’t tolerate any games. PSG will sell if they have to.

Real have already agreed a huge spend on Jude Bellingham. The initial fee is €103m. Adding Mbappe this summer would be a huge outlay. The worst case scenario for PSG would be Mbappe spurns all offers and waits for Real in 2024.

There are Premier League suitors who have held a historical interest in Mbappe, but my understanding is Chelsea and Liverpool won’t enter the race this summer.

Chelsea have crystal clear stance on Levi Colwill

Chelsea’s position on Levi Colwill is crystal clear. The Chelsea centre-back is not for sale. Colwill had an exceptional season on-loan at Brighton and really enjoyed his time with the Seagulls. He has also been training with England’s senior squad this week.

Chelsea have no plans to sell despite Brighton wanting to sign Colwill. They aren’t currently looking at another loan either. Chelsea believe Colwill is going to develop into an elite-level centre-back. They really don’t want to lose him.

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There is currently a lot of centre-back competition at Chelsea, and it will be tough to please all players if Pochettino plays a back four. Chelsea also have less games due to not qualifying for European football. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Pochettino assesses Colwill in pre-season, a bit like Mikel Arteta did with William Saliba when he returned from his loan spell at Marseille last summer. And if all goes according to plan, I can see Colwill getting some instant game time to prove himself.

The only way a move would be possible is if Colwill forces it, and even then nothing is guaranteed. Chelsea are not offering any encouragement whatsoever to suitors. Colwill is a big part of their future plans.

Newcastle remain confident over Bruno Guimaraes despite interest

Bruno Guimaraes is highly unlikely to leave Newcastle this summer. There is confidence at the club he will extend his contract, but also no urgency. There’s a calmness because his current deal doesn’t expire until 2026.

Guimaraes has loved the move to Newcastle since joining from Lyon in January 2022, and has Champions League football next season. There is absolutely no reason for him to leave right now. Even the player has said this directly, indicating he wants to win titles with Newcastle.

“I think the challenge will be bigger than next year,” he said. “I think the team has to have a goal of Champions League [every season], not to go now and then not [qualify] for ten years. We have to get used to being there… The club deserves titles. Because of that I am here.”

Article image:Exclusive Ben Jacobs column: Kylian Mbappe latest, Chelsea to block wonderkid transfer, Bruno Guimaraes, and more

Bruno Guimaraes celebrates a goal for Newcastle

Real Madrid, Liverpool and Barcelona have all been linked. That’s normal because Guimaraes is a fantastic player and character who has quickly become a fan favourite at St James’ Park.

It wouldn’t surprise me if a new deal is signed. That’s Newcastle’s intention. But even if nothing happens imminently Newcastle can effectively price Guimaraes out the market should interest materialise. It’s worth remembering they paid a total package of £40m for him. There’s no doubt his value has more than doubled since. It will be one of the shocks of the summer if Guimaraes isn’t still a Newcastle player come the close of the window.

Manchester City’s transfer plans following treble glory

Manchester City have a few priorities this summer. The first is to get captain Ilkay Gundogan to extend. The club are awaiting his decision. Barcelona, Arsenal and Dortmund have all been linked. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are also monitoring Gundogan’s situation. Nothing is decided yet, but it will be very soon.

Gundogan will do what Bobby Firmino did and inform Manchester City first whether he is staying or going and if the latter then (and quickly) finalise his next move.

Manchester City must also resolve the future of Joao Cancelo. Although Cancelo is open to staying at Bayern the German champions won’t pay the €70 million buy clause. Arsenal appreciate Cancelo, too, and the feeling is he will leave Manchester City this summer.

In terms of major incomings, keep an eye on Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol. A major outlay will be required because Gvardiol only extended his contract with Leipzig last year. Chelsea have tried and failed for Gvardiol in the past and Liverpool like the player, too.

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But all clubs are put off by Leipzig’s valuation, which will be at least £85m (€100m). This means paying a world-record fee for a defender, which is currently set at the £80m Manchester United paid Leicester for Harry Maguire in 2019.

Player buy-in is going to be key if the price is to drop. Meanwhile, Gvardiol’s Croatia teammate Mateo Kovacic is going to be far more attainable. Kovacic has already accepted personal terms with Manchester City and there is optimism a fee with Chelsea can be agreed.

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