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Real Madrid panic as PSG ready to cash €300m on Mbappe



Paris Saint-Germain will take the money for Kylian Mbappe wherever it comes from. The superstar forward has been on the market for less than a week, and the suitors have started queuing up. The first to move was Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal, who offered PSG, and Mbappe, an unprecedented figure to coax the player to the Middle East.

Despite animosity between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Parisians will have no qualms about accepting the bid, and who can blame them? A club, who is not a direct rival, is handing them €300 million (£259m/$333m) for a footballer. Players aren’t worth that. This is a cash commitment that simply cannot be beaten.

PSG have made it clear to Mbappe that they don’t care where the money comes from. They are selling to the highest bidder, and someone has already fielded an offer that simply no one else will touch.

But it’s not that simple. Mbappe, if reports are to be believed, has made it clear that he would rather sit on the bench — and wait for his contract to expire — than play for Al-Hilal. The Frenchman has coveted a Real Madrid move for years, twice rejecting the Spanish giants in favour of money. However, now the moral principles are really kicking in. Around $2.1 million (£1.6m) per day, it appears, is just far too much.

But the real losers here might just be Madrid. It had been expected that they would sign Mbappe on a free in 2024. But the departure of Karim Benzema — ironically, to the Pro League — has left them with a hole to fill, and since Mbappe made it clear that he would be on the market more immediately, it was assumed that Madrid would pay up, ideally at a discount price.

Now, though, competition has emerged. Los Blancos are being outbid, outthought, and potentially left facing a year, or longer, with a glaring hole in their side, while watching their dream target spend time elsewhere.

The contract
On paper, this should make sense. Al-Hilal have reportedly offered Mbappe a one-year contract, theoretically opening the door for him to play less than 12 months overseas before finally suiting up at Santiago Bernabeu. It would be a highly-paid holiday before the real stuff begins.

Yet it’s hard to trust such a promise. With that money, in such a lavish lifestyle, in an improving league, one year could well become two, or perhaps three. Once Mbappe sets foot in Saudi Arabia — if he does — then the mandate of a one-year excursion seems less likely. Unwritten promises are seldom fulfilled in the footballing world.

The exact contract details are yet to be made public. That is, of course, for Mbappe to negotiate — if he desires. But the broad outline suggests that Al-Hilal are offering the player more money, and more perks, than PSG ever could. The salary itself, a cool €700m (£605m/$776m) per year, also includes image rights, a sticking point of his negotiations with both PSG and Madrid last summer, when the forward made a last-minute U-turn and opted to stay in Paris for, theoretically, two more years.

So, Mbappe would increase his salary by 1000 percent, and also be free to hold on to all of his sponsorships — while also pursuing others. This says nothing of the life of luxury, god-like status, and constant adulation he would receive in the Pro League.

If this potential move is a money-making decision, Mbappe can have as much of it as he likes. Further reports have suggested that Al-Hilal would be more than open for the Frenchman to pen a multi-year deal, too. This is a one-year pledge that could quite comfortably become far more.

Madrid can’t risk him going somewhere else
It’s a transfer, then, that would require immense amounts of trust from Madrid. Rarely are player pathways so clear than that of Mbappe to the Bernabeu. With most stars, there is some guesswork, or jeopardy involved. Erling Haaland, for example, had multiple suitors before picking Manchester City. Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami move was impossible to call until the last hour before it materialised.

But it is common knowledge that Mbappe wants to be a Madrid player. He quite literally wrote a book about it. Madrid, meanwhile, have been quietly confident about the whole thing. Even when Benzema announced his sudden departure a few months ago, there was comfort to be found in the fact that Mbappe wanted out. His whole public plea to leave was effectively a message to Madrid.

Los Blancos have become complacent in this knowledge. They haven’t pursued any of the other big names on the market this summer, on the understanding that Mbappe would soon arrive. Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, Randal Kolo Muani and others have all flown by on the assumption that Mbappe would be wearing white by August.

But now, if Mbappe does go somewhere else, the whole transfer policy needs re-evaluating. An unplanned, unsanctioned move will need to happen. And it’s during those scrambles for imperfect fits that budgets and negotiating positions go out of the window. This could get very messy, very quickly.

Ancelotti needs a goalscorer
In the first half of their first pre-season contest against AC Milan on Sunday, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti deployed a new lineup . Once a 4-3-3 loyalist, he switched to a two-striker system, starting Brahim Diaz and Joselu up front. The results were lacking.

Joselu ran a lot, but didn’t get into the right spaces for Madrid’s technical midfielders to find him. Diaz, for his part, looked lost, a No.10 asked to play as a second striker. The whole thing didn’t exactly inspire confidence, and Los Blancos trailed, 2-0, at half-time.

The second 45 minutes were more encouraging. Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo entered the fold, and Madrid scored three against Milan’s second-string defence. But impactful as the subs were, neither of the Brazilians are natural strikers. Both, arguably, prefer an assist.

It was, admittedly, just the one game. Still, if there were already doubts about the lack of goals in this side, they were only worsened. Here is a team that certainly needs a striker, Mbappe or otherwise.

The good news is, there are other options available. Kolo Muani, Dusan Vlahovic, Goncalo Ramos, and — for a lot of money — Osimhen are all available. Any of those would provide an immense upgrade to this side. In an Mbappe-less scenario, Madrid would probably be delighted with bringing one of them in.

All of them would perhaps be a more natural fit to replace Benzema, too. Osimhen, in particular, figures to be an enticing fit alongside Vinicius and Rodygo. Still, despite his 31 goals and Serie A winner’s medal, the Nigeria star is not Mbappe. None of the alternatives are.

Forced into spending more than they want
This has already been an expensive transfer window in the Spanish capital. Club president Florentino Perez, a famously shrewd negotiator, spent big on Jude Bellingham, splashing an initial €103m (£88m/$110m) to bring the Englishman to Madrid. He followed that with a not-insignificant deal for Arda Guler, a transfer that reportedly cost $45m (£35m) after signing on fees and money paid out to the Turkish teenager’s entourage.

Madrid have no problem spending big — they have proved as much in the past. But they don’t like getting ripped off. There is a complacency that comes with being the Real Madrid brand. They are not to be outspent or pushed around. It is, in their eyes, a privilege for a player to wear white, and the club’s divine right to snatch the world’s best. Negotiations take time, but Madrid always get the deal they want. It’s something of a misguided sentiment, but it’s the closest thing to actual ‘club DNA’ in real life.

It would be something of an insult, then, for Los Blancos to have to stretch their budget. However, in this case, they have no choice. The striker market is unpredictable, but the fact that Atalanta want a minimum of €70m (£60m/$78m) for Rasmus Hojland, who scored 13 league goals last year, is indicative of how expensive a potential addition might be.

Of course, Madrid can pay up. But that doesn’t mean they’ll want to. Perez likes to throw cash around sometimes, but he also spends smartly, almost always at the right price. The specifics of this deal, whoever it would be for, appear beyond his control.

The 2024 problem
The worst nightmare, though, could conceivably happen here. Madrid could overpay for a striker who is nowhere near as good as Mbappe. They will pretend to be happy with the player, who will undoubtedly have to play next season, if not longer, burdened by the narrative that he was second, or even third-choice.

But what if Mbappe makes a U-turn anyway? What if, the player who is known for changing approaches and exercising his power as a player, changes his approach and exercises his power as a player? Mbappe could commit to a multi-year deal in Saudi Araba, and decide after one season that the Pro League doesn’t suit him. That ‘I want out’ interview is basically already written, a cry to Perez, Madrid, and Madridistas to embrace him once again.

Then Madrid have a real problem. Mbappe would perhaps be available on a free, but command an immense signing bonus and frightening wages. Even Los Blancos wouldn’t be able to afford him. In such a scenario, they’d have to watch Mbappe go elsewhere once more, all while reassuring the world that they never wanted him anyway.

And it appears to be careening that way. PSG will hold out for as long as they can and take the big offer. Mbappe could well be playing in the Saudi Pro League next year. In 12 months, Madrid could be watching him enter the market again. And that time, should it come, even the most powerful club in football won’t have the finances to make it happen. Their predestined signing would have to go elsewhere once more.

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Barcelona’s salary limit drops massively from €648m to €270m




Barcelona’s new salary limit for this season has been set at €270 million, a huge drop from the €648m limit set in February.

La Liga have told informed all clubs of their salary levels for the next five months, when they will be reviewed again following the close of the January transfer window.

Barca’s new limit is €270m, the third highest in La Liga, behind Real Madrid and Atletico.

Los Blancos lead the way on €727m, while Atletico Madrid’s salary cap has been set at €296m.

Barca have been busy in the summer in a bid to reduce their wage bill. There were a host of outgoings with Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Ousmane Dembele among those players to be shifted off the wage bill.

Incoming players have arrived on free transfers, or for small fees, and have had to take significant wage cuts. Marc-Andre ter Stegen has also taken a downward contract renewal in a bid to help his club during their financial difficulties.

It’s worth noting that Barcelona are still thought to be way over the limit with a current wage bill of around €404m, meaning there’s still a lot of work needed to do on the financial front.

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Meet 10 highest paid players in the Premier League




The Premier League is one of the richest leagues in the world and a lot of the star players are on incredibly lucrative contracts.

The likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City are all willing to offer huge pay packets to help convince players to join their clubs.

Using data from Capology, a look at the 10 Premier League players with the highest weekly wage.

Note: All figures mentioned are before tax and do not include the array of bonuses that are included in the fine print of every contract.

  1. Kai Havertz – £280,000
    Havertz spent three years at Chelsea before moving across London and joining Arsenal in a £65millon deal in the summer of 2023.

Alongside the transfer fee, the Gunners also shelled out a significant pay packet as they are giving him a reported £280,000-per-week.

The Germany international is the highest-paid player at the Emirates, earning £15,000-a-week more than teammate Gabriel Jesus.

He has faced some criticism for a slow start to life in north London but still has plenty of time to prove his doubters wrong.

9= Jack Grealish – £300,000
Grealish left boyhood club Aston Villa and completed a £100million move to Manchester City in the summer of 2021.

The England international then got a significant wage increase, going from £125,000-per-week at Villa Park to £300,000-per-week at the Etihad.

He had an underwhelming debut season at City but rediscovered his best form in 2022/23, helping Pep Guardiola’s side win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Alongside his huge wages, the 28-year-old earns £10million a year from Puma and also has a lucrative endorsement contract with fashion house Gucci.

9= Marcus Rashford – £300,00
A Manchester United academy graduate, Rashford earned just £500-a-week when he broke into the first team in February 2016.

The 25-year-old has since developed into one of the best players in the Premier League and his wages have subsequently skyrocketed.

He put pen to paper on a new five-year contract ahead of the 2023/24 season and is now pocketing around £300,000-per-week.

According to The Athletic, Rashford rejected more lucrative proposals from England and abroad to remain at his boyhood club.

9= Bernardo Silva – £300,000
Since arriving from Monaco in the summer of 2017, Silva has helped Manchester City win 14 trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

He was heavily linked with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain in 2023 and was also offered a £500,000-a-week contract by Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal.

But the Portugal international rejected that lucrative offer and signed a contract extension with City until the summer of 2026.

The new deal, which reportedly includes a release clause, rewarded Silva for his impressive performances and doubled his £150,000-a-week salary.

  1. Raheem Sterling – £325,000
    After spending seven seasons at Manchester City, Sterling opted for a new challenge and joined Chelsea in a £47.5million deal in 2022.

The winger signed a five-year deal which is worth £325,000-per-week, making him the highest-paid player at Stamford Bridge.

He struggled to justify that huge pay packet during a turbulent debut season, registering just nine goals and four assists across 38 appearances in all competitions.

While a lot of Chelsea players got a pay cut for missing out on the Champions League, Sterling’s wages have reportedly stayed the same.

  1. Raphael Varane – £340,000
    Varane’s move to Manchester United in the summer of 2021 saw his wage packet double after he was reportedly paid £170,000-per-week at Real Madrid.

The 30-year-old arrived at Old Trafford with some serious pedigree, having won three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and the World Cup.

He’s widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and has forged a promising centre-back partnership with Lisandro Martinez.

But the former France international has struggled to stay fit for prolonged periods and has already missed 35 United matches through injury.

4= Mohamed Salah – £350,000
After months upon months of speculation about a potential Liverpool exit, Salah committed his future to the Reds in 2022 by putting pen to paper on a new three-year contract.

The deal saw his wages go from £200,000-per-week to £350,000-per-week, making him the highest-paid player in the club’s illustrious history.

According to The Athletic, various bonuses written into the contract could see that rise closer to £400,000-per-week.

That still pales in comparison to the £2.45million-a-week wage that Al-Hilal are reportedly willing to offer the Egypt international.

4= Casemiro – £350,000
Casemiro enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Real Madrid, winning five La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey and five Champions Leagues.

The midfielder subsequently raised eyebrows in 2022 when he decided to leave Real and join a Manchester United side that had failed to qualify for the Champions League.

His reported wages of £350,000-a-week led to speculation that he only signed for a massive payday, but the Brazil international insisted that the money was not part of his thinking in accepting the switch.

“Those who think that don’t know me,” he said. “I’m not like that. If it was for money, then I could have left four or five years ago. The club always acted well with me. It was my decision. It was simply the feeling that my cycle here had come to an end. This was clear to me.”

He silenced his critics and had a brilliant debut season at Old Trafford, helping United win the EFL Cup and finish third in the Premier League.

But the 31-year-old has had a difficult start to the 2023/24 season and his £350,000-a-week contract doesn’t expire until 2026.

  1. Erling Haaland – £375,000
    Manchester City won the race for Haaland’s signature in 2022 after triggering the £51.2million release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract.

Having signed Haaland for around a third of his market value, City agreed to make him one of their highest earners and are paying the 23-year-old a base salary of £375,000-per-week.

The striker is worth every penny as he scored 52 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions during a record-breaking debut season.

According to reports, Haaland’s contract also includes a number of relatively straightforward bonuses which could take his wage up to £865,000-per-week.

  1. Kevin De Bruyne – £400,000
    After Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United contract was terminated by mutual consent in November 2022, De Bruyne took his place as the Premier League’s highest earner.

The Manchester City midfielder last signed a contract extension in April 2021, which took his pay up to the £400,000-per-week mark.

He justified that wage increase by winning the Premier League Player of the Season award in 2021/22 before playing an integral role in City’s treble-winning campaign.

Culled from

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NFF Budgets N14.4 Billion For 2024




The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says it will spend the sum of N14,494,469,293.00 (Fourteen Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Four Million, Four Hundred and Sixty-Nine Thousand and Two Hundred and Ninety-Three Naira) in 2024.

This was part of the resolution passed by the Congress of the NFF which held its 79th Annual General Assembly on Sunday, 10th September 2023 at Monty Suites Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

Sports Marketing International reports that the Congress approved the NFF’s 2024 Budget proposal of the sum of N14,494,469,293.00 even as it considered and approved the NFF Financial Statements for the Year Ended 2022 among many other agenda that were looked into during the congress.

While passing a vote of confidence on the Executive Committee of the NFF led by Ibrahim Musa Gusau, the congress approved the change of name of the Nigeria Professional Football League to the Nigeria Premier Football League and pledged full support to the Super Eagles in its quest to qualify for the FIFA World Cup USA/Mexico/Canada 2026.

The football body, after appraising the efforts, commitment and passion of the Akwa Ibom State government to the development and real growth of Nigeria Football through its support and encouragement of the NFF and the National Teams, the Congress commended Governor Umo Bassey Eno and his cabinet and encouraged them to do even more as the Super Eagles are ready to make Uyo its home for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

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