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PSG secure Mbappe in mega Monaco deal

Paris, France | AFP |  French teen sensation Kylian Mbappe joined Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco on a season-long loan Thursday in a deal that will make him the second most expensive footballer in history.

“Paris Saint-Germain is delighted to announce the immediate arrival of Kylian Mbappe,” the club wrote on its website, just hours before the close of a record-breaking transfer window.

“The loan agreement also includes an option to buy which, when exercised, will bind the player to Paris Saint-Germain until June 30, 2022.”

According to media reports, the overall transfer fee could rise to 180 million euros ($215 million) including add-ons, which would make Mbappe, 18, second only to new team-mate Neymar on the all-time list of costliest transfers.

“It is with great joy and pride that I join Paris Saint-Germain,” said Mbappe.

“For any young person from the Paris region, it is often a dream to wear the red and blue jersey and experience the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.

“I really wanted to be a part of the club’s project, which is one of the most ambitious in Europe.

“Alongside my new team-mates, I intend to continue my progression while helping the team achieve the very big objectives it has set itself.”

Mbappe burst onto the scene in the second half of last season and scored 15 goals in 29 appearances in Monaco’s run to the French title. He netted 26 times in 44 matches in all competitions.

Brought up in the northern suburbs of Paris, Mbappe was compared to a young Thierry Henry as he first broke into the Monaco side in December 2015, just before his 17th birthday.

He celebrated his PSG move by scoring his first goal for France in Thursday’s 4-0 rout of the Netherlands in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup after coming on as a second-half substitute at Stade de France.

– ‘Most promising’ talent –

“It was essential for French football that we keep and help develop such a great talent in our championship,” said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

“Among players of his age, he is without doubt the most promising in the world.

“Under our colors, in the midst of truly great players, Kylian will continue his progression in a way that will also benefit the French national team in the months and years to come.”

Also targeted by Real Madrid this summer, Mbappe’s move to PSG will leave many wondering how the Qatar-owned club can avoid sanctions from European football’s governing body considering the investment already made on Neymar.

The French club shattered the previous global transfer record earlier in August when they splashed out a staggering 222 million euros to prise the Brazilian superstar away from Barcelona.

FFP rules currently stipulate that clubs cannot post losses of more than 30 million euros over the three-year period to 2018, although PSG are hoping the initial loan move will help prevent them from falling fall of the regulations.

Among the sanctions risked by PSG if they are found to have broken those rules is a ban from the Champions League.

PSG have already incurred sanctions for a previous violation and were slapped with a 60-million-euro fines 40 million of which suspended, in 2014, and saw their squads for the Champions League cut from 25 to 21 players.

And last week UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin reiterated his determination to clamp down on clubs caught flouting the rules.

“No country can buy a player… It is of course the clubs who must buy them,” Ceferin told a group of reporters on the sidelines of the Champions League draw in Monaco.

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