Real Madrid to make Kylian Mbappe announcement U-turn out of respect for PSG after UCL draw

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The Champions League draw almost always throws up some tantalising match-ups in the knockout stages of the competition.

In the initial Round of 16 draw for this year’s edition, subsequently made null and void because of a mistake during the draw itself, the prospect of one final Messi v Ronaldo battle was on the cards after Paris Saint-Germain were paired with Manchester United.

With followers of the beautiful game swiftly denied that possibility, UEFA came up trumps once more in the re-draw.

PSG were again involved in a tie-of-the-round pairing, only this time it was Real Madrid drawn as their opponents, after Los Blancos had earlier drawn Benfica.

The thread of narrative for this particular tie is extensive and, frankly, mouth-watering.

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In the first instance, it represents an immediate return to the Santiago Bernabeu for former Real captain, Sergio Ramos, assuming he steers clear of injury.

If that weren’t enough to get football watchers salivating, Lionel Messi will have another opportunity to silence the crowd at a stadium where scoring was second nature to him throughout his years at Barcelona.

Florentino Perez

By far the most interesting aspect, however, is Kylian Mbappe’s potential transfer to the La Liga giants.

Mbappe is about to enter the final six months of his PSG contract and, once he does, he will be free to talk to non-French clubs with a view to a free transfer move in the summer.

Madrid seems to be Mbappe’s most likely destination and AS report that Real president Florentino Perez was preparing to make an announcement in January, in readiness for the French World Cup winner’s unveiling next summer.

But AS also claim that since the two clubs will now be facing each other on the pitch in February, Real won’t make any announcement until the end of the season.

In theory that means if, as many expect, a deal is agreed before the summer, Real plan to keep it a secret from the public until the 2021-22 campaign finishes.

What Real haven’t countenanced of course is that Mbappe could be the player that knocks them out of Europe, and were he to celebrate wildly, that’s hardly likely to win him any friends in the corridors of power in the Spanish capital.

More Stories Florentino Perez Kylian Mbappe Leonardo Lionel Messi Sergio Ramos