Saudi Arabian soccer club Al-Hilal is preparing to make a $1.1 billion offer to sign striker Kylian Mbappe from French club Paris Saint-Germain, according to multiple reports.
Al-Hilal’s proposed deal includes a $332 million transfer fee paid to PSG and a $776 million salary paid to Mbappe for one season, reports James Benge of CBS Sports. The one-year contract would enable the 24-year-old Frenchman to play in Saudi Arabia before joining Real Madrid next summer, as he’s reportedly been interested in doing.
Mbappe’s reported $776 million salary would be the highest ever for an athlete, surpassing the current-record $674 million over four years that Lionel Messi received from FC Barcelona in 2017. Saudi Arabia’s monumental push into soccer began last year when Cristiano Ronaldo signed with Al-Nassr for a reported $214 million annually over 2.5 years.
In June, Al-Hilal reportedly offered a $1.6 billion deal over three years to Messi before he took less money to sign with Inter Miami in MLS. Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr are among four Saudi Pro League clubs that were restructured last month to become majority owned by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund operated by Saudi Arabia’s government.
Mbappe’s existing deal with Paris Saint-Germain pays him $128 million annually. Completion of the reported Mbappe deal between Saudi Arabia and PSG, which Qatar Sports Investments owns, would mark an agreement between two oil-rich Middle Eastern nations investing billions into sports and comes shortly after Qatar Investment Authority invested in Monumental Sports & Entertainment as the first sovereign wealth fund to buy into a U.S. sports team.