No, Liverpool are not signing Mbappe — not even on loan (sorry)

Liverpool are in 'sensational talks' over a loan move for Kylian Mbappe.

Or at least that's what the Mirror's Jon Richardson claimed on Saturday, sending (certain sections of) Liverpool social media wild.

The exclusive declares that the Reds are in talks with Paris Saint-Germain over a one-year loan deal, which would enable the French side to recoup some cash on their asset who has seemingly already agreed to join Real Madrid on the world's most expensive free transfer next summer.

Liverpool have supposedly been encouraged by "Mbappe's respect for the club and the fact that his mother, Fayza Lamari – also his agent – is an avid Kop fan."

Avid Kop fan...

While this might all sound encouraging and more realistic than a straight transfer, I have to reiterate that it's definitely, absolutely, 100% not going to happen.

 

Yes, PSG are keen to offload Mbappe this summer rather than next. Not just because they won't receive a transfer fee for the France captain whose contract expires in 2024, but because they are obliged to pay an insane amount of money to him over the next 12 months.

According to reports, the contract extension Mbappe signed last summer entitles him to an annual salary of over €70m (£60m), plus a loyalty bonus of a similar amount again.

If Mbappe walks out of the French capital for Madrid next summer as expected, he will effectively have cost PSG well over £100m for his final season.

This is the reason why PSG were so keen to entertain Al-Hilal's potentially world-record breaking offer that would cover their expenses (and then some), while saving face in what has been an embarrassing saga.

Mbappe's team batted that offer away, however, with the Saudi Pro League not especially attractive for a 24-year-old at the peak of the sport. And at first glance, a loan deal to Liverpool might seem more appealing. At least to his "Kop avid" mum, anyway.

Still, Mbappe might be the world's most desirable footballer, but he's also the most unattainable.

There is simply no way to cook the books or move columns in spreadsheets that would allow Liverpool to lay out the money required to take a player like Mbappe on loan for a season, with no chance of a permanent transfer.

Imagine for example, in a flight of fancy, that PSG only request that Liverpool take 50% of Mbappe's wages and pay a fee that would roughly equate half of his loyalty bonus.

In that most generous case scenario, where PSG agree to go halves for their star asset to have a gap year in the Premier League, you'd have to imagine it would still cost the Reds and FSG at least £60m for a single year — just to prep the forward for his eventual move to Madrid in a year's time.

As a reminder, Liverpool are currently haggling with Southampton over the final £5m in a deal for Romeo Lavia, and are "not guaranteed" to spend on a (badly needed) new defender this summer.

READ MORE: Why Liverpool simply must sign a new defender this summer

Whatever your thoughts on FSG, they are not those type of owners. They just don't have the resources and probably wouldn't operate that way, even if they did.

Ironically, attack is probably the one area Liverpool don't need to strengthen this summer.

While the midfield and defence still require attention, the Reds' front line options of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nuñez, Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota are among the strongest in the league, and Jurgen Klopp's men have looked sharp in pre-season, bagging 12 goals in three outings so far.

Side note: can you imagine a world in which Klopp would essentially be forced to bench and stunt the development of the club's record-signing and man they just handed the number nine shirt to just for a fling with Mbappe? It's hardly a long-term plan.

That's not to say Mbappe wouldn't improve Liverpool — he obviously would — but this isn't FIFA.

This is the real world, where sealing a deal for a defensive midfielder, finding a suitable left-sided centre back and helping develop a cohesive, long-term attacking unit have to be the priorities.

So, can we all please stop talking about this now?

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