This would be quite the downgrade
As Kylian Mbappé looks to leave Paris Saint-Germain to realise his lifelong dream of playing for Real Madrid, the French club are reportedly looking at Everton’s Richarlison as a potential replacement, according to French media outlet RMC.
It’s no secret that Mbappé has always wanted to end up at Real Madrid–we’ve all seen the photos of Cristiano Ronaldo on his childhood bedroom wall. But for him to try to force a move this summer, right after Lionel Messi has joined, does seem like strange timing.
His contract with PSG expires next summer, and with the player showing no intention of signing a new deal, the club have been put in the awkward position of deciding whether to sell him now, or keeping him for his final year and losing him for free next summer.
Whether it’s a case of becoming bored of Ligue 1, or wanting to leave the most glittering front three (on paper, at least) of all time to be the main man in his own team – much like Neymar in 2017 – we will never know for sure. But what is for certain is that he said this in June…
Anyway, PSG now have to come to terms with the very real prospect of losing their starlet much earlier than they would have liked, and are therefore scouting around for possible replacements.
As mentioned earlier, Richarlison is reportedly high up that list. While the Brazilian is of course not in the same realm as Mbappé in terms of quality, they are similar in profile. Richarlison prefers to play from the left but is also comfortable leading the line through the middle. His work rate off the ball might also be a breath of fresh air given how little work Messi and Neymar will do out of possession.
This is of course no slight on Richarlison, but it can’t be ignored that this would be a significant downgrade, almost on par with when Manchester United sold Cristiano Ronaldo and signed Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan.