Barcelona's season ended with a whimper as Villarreal sealed a 2-0 LaLiga win at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The Catalan club's spot in next season's Champions League was secured earlier in May, yet Xavi will be disappointed his side have ended the campaign with just a solitary point from their final two games.

They went behind late in the first half through Alfonso Pedraza's strike, before Moi Gomez sealed maximum points for Unai Emery's men in the second half.  

The result meant second-placed Barca ended the campaign a whopping 13 points behind champions Real Madrid, while Villarreal finished seventh.

Adama Traore flashed over and Ferran Torres was denied by Geronimo Rulli inside a bright opening 10 minutes for the hosts.

Barca looked the more likely to open the scoring inside the opening half hour, yet all they had to show for their dominance was a Sergio Busquets strike that flew narrowly over the crossbar.

The inability to take advantage of their superiority was punished four minutes before the interval as Alfonso Pedraza latched onto Daniel Parejo's pass and steered past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Villarreal doubled their advantage in the 55th minute when Gomez lashed into the roof of net after cutting out Traore's dismal attempted clearance. 

Frenkie de Jong had an effort ruled out for offside late on as Barca tried in vain to find their way back into the game. 

What does it mean? Villarreal end dire run against insipid hosts

Xavi has done well to steady the Barca ship after a chaotic start to the season, yet he will be disappointed with the way his players' intensity has dropped off in the final two games of the season.

Victory for Villarreal, meanwhile, ended a run of 10 straight LaLiga defeats at Camp Nou, which was their worst run of successive away losses against a single opponent in the competition's history.

Pass master Parejo

Parejo's superb pass for Pedraza's goal saw him move level with Athletic Bilbao's Iker Muniain and Barca's Jordi Alba as LaLiga's top assister this season (10). It is the most he has ever achieved in his 14 seasons playing in the Spanish top flight.

Torrid time for Traore

Barca are not expected to take up the option of turning Traore's loan move from Wolves into a permanent one and it was not hard to see why on this evidence. The 26-year-old offered nothing in attack and was directly responsible for Villarreal's second goal – his last act before being hauled off for Ousmane Dembele.

Rodrigo de Paul and Angel Correa struck as Atletico Madrid secured third in LaLiga with a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Diego Simeone's side qualified for the Champions League before the final matchday, but were fortunate to not fall behind in the first half at Reale Arena as Rafinha spurned multiple chances.

Atletico punished La Real for not making their dominance pay when De Paul thumped a wonderful strike home after 50 minutes, before Correa sealed victory.

The hosts pulled a goal back in the 93rd minute through substitute Jon Guridi, but it proved too late to mount a comeback; defeat leaving La Real sixth, having already sealed Europa League qualification.

Mikel Merino headed narrowly wide in the opening exchanges, before Rafinha inexplicably hit the post from point-blank range after Jan Oblak's parry from a low Alexander Sorloth drive.

Rafinha wasted another great opportunity as he curled wide when one-on-one with Oblak following Sortloth's offload, before the midfielder arrowed just off target on the stroke of half-time.

Alex Remiro thwarted a swerving De Paul effort from the edge of the area after the interval, while Matheus Cunha cannoned a deflected strike against the crossbar.

But De Paul broke the deadlock soon after when he drilled a fizzing right-footed attempt into the top-left corner.

Remiro rushed out to ensure Antoine Griezmann's goal drought continued, before Correa doubled Atletico's advantage with a curling finish in the 68th minute.

Guridi headed home from close range after Oblak parried Adnan Januzaj's free-kick, but Atleti held on for victory.

What does it mean? Atleti's sizeable task to compete at the top

Atletico's chances of defending their title ended months ago as runaways leaders Real Madrid coasted towards their 35th LaLiga crown, finishing 15 points clear of their neighbours.

While Simeone's side made it six games unbeaten in LaLiga against La Real, their timid first-half outing only served to display the difference in quality between Atleti and the champions. With Barcelona somewhat reviving under Xavi as well, Simeone will need to address these issues in the close season to compete next campaign.

 

Griezmann selfless but cannot get a goal

Griezmann may not have scored for 15 LaLiga games, his longest run without a goal in the competition, but the forward's unselfish link-up play should be credited.

The France international opted to play back to De Paul for the opener, registering his fourth top-flight assist this term, but will hope to rediscover his scoring prowess for the next campaign.

Rubbish Rafinha finishing

Rafinha could have had La Real three goals to the good before half-time, but failed to find the target with any of the presentable openings.

The Paris Saint-Germain loanee accounted for 0.72 of La Real's 1.01 expected goals total in the opening 45 minutes, highlighting the quality of the chances he spurned with his profligacy.

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe thanked Real Madrid for their efforts as he took to Twitter on Sunday night to explain his decision to stay in France.

Mbappe had for a long time appeared likely to leave PSG at the end of his contract and sign for admirers Madrid, but he ultimately decided to shun his childhood dream club.

The World Cup winner's 28 goals and 17 assists led both Ligue 1 charts this season, with his 45 goal involvements – arriving every 67 minutes on average – the most across Europe's top five leagues.

Those talents will not be turning out in Madrid colours, though.

In his Twitter post, Mbappe thanked Madrid and their president Florentino Perez and said he will remain a fan of the Spanish giants.

"Today I wanted to announce that I have chosen to extend my contract at Paris Saint-Germain," he wrote.

"I'm convinced that I can continue to grow here, at a club which is giving itself every means to reach the top. 

"I would like to thank the president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, for his confidence, his attention and his patience. 

"I also have a thought for all of the PSG supporters, in France and around the world, for their countless shows of affection, especially in these last few months.

"I am very happy to continue playing in France, the country where I was born, grew up and blossomed."

Mbappe added: "I would also like to sincerely thank Real Madrid and their president Florentino Perez. I am aware of the chance and privilege I had at being coveted by such an institution. 

"I can imagine their disappointment. It is as big as my own hesitations. 

"I will be their biggest fan in the Champions League final in Paris. At my home."

Mbappe is due to meet with the media on Monday to further discuss his decision to remain at PSG.

Mauricio Pochettino is readying himself to work with Paris Saint-Germain on plans for next season despite fresh speculation over his future following the renewal of Kylian Mbappe's contract.

The blockbuster saga involving Mbappe finally reached a conclusion on Saturday when it was confirmed the superstar forward had agreed to stay at the Parc des Princes until 2025, snubbing the chance to join Real Madrid despite having been heavily expected to do so.

Inevitably, the fallout and furore has been extensive, with LaLiga and its president Javier Tebas heavily critical – the former threatening legal challenges over the renewal, which reportedly has seen Mbappe given a whopping €150million signing-on fee.

Additionally, it has been said Mbappe will have a say in decisions in the appointments of the sporting director and head coach, as well signings and player sales.

Indeed, Leonardo is already expected to depart as sporting director and Pochettino – whose future was shrouded in doubt after PSG were eliminated in the Champions League last 16 by Madrid – could also face the chop.

Speaking after PSG rounded out their title-winning Ligue 1 campaign with a 5-0 battering of Metz, a match in which Mbappe celebrated his bumper new deal with a hat-trick, Pochettino was asked what his own future plans are.

"Rest for a few days then get back in touch with the club to work on next season," Pochettino said.

The former Spurs boss also hailed the news Mbappe had opted to remain at PSG.

"We are proud that a year and a half later this player has decided to extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain and that today he has also celebrated being the top scorer in the league and that he has become perhaps one of the best, if not the best player in the world today," he said.

"So this is a great source of pride and we are happy for the club, for the people who run it, from the president to the sporting department and, of course, for the fans, because he is a player who has the DNA of Paris, from here, and we are very happy that Kylian has made this decision to stay at Paris Saint-Germain."

The inevitable at Camp Nou has arrived along with the end of the season in LaLiga.

Xavi's rebuild and transformation of the Barcelona has lingered over this past season, despite the need to recover from their slow start.

According to reports, the Blaugrana are not wasting any time.

TOP STORY – XAVI CLEAR-OUT TO BEGIN AT BARCELONA   

Xavi has informed a number of Barcelona's players that the club is intending to sell them, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Riqui Puig, Samuel Umtiti, Oscar Mingueza and Martin Braithwaite have already been notified they are not in the club's future plans.

The four of them have been peripheral figures under Xavi, since he took over as head coach in November, but he had avoided contract talk with the press during the season.

While the 42-year-old has confirmed he has spoken to those four players "and others", it appears to be only the start of a sizeable squad transformation.

ROUND-UP

– Meanwhile, the Barca boss has confirmed they are in talks to sign Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Goal reports.

– Napoli have rejected a €90million (£76m) bid from Arsenal for Victor Osimhen, according to Calciomercato.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a final offer for Paul Pogba, but Juventus are confident their offer of a €14.2m yearly salary will be sufficient.

– The Daily Mail is also reporting that Inter want Ivan Perisic to agree to a new contract amid interest from Tottenham and Chelsea.

Kylian Mbappe sent shockwaves through the world of football after announcing his decision to renew his contract with Paris Saint-Germain and snub a move to Real Madrid.

It had long since been expected the France superstar would make the switch to LaLiga champions Madrid upon the expiry of his contract in June.

However, a dramatic U-turn was completed on Saturday when PSG confirmed their prized asset had renewed at the Parc des Princes until 2025.

The reported money involved in the new contract is eye-watering, with some suggesting Mbappe has been given a €150million signing-on fee to stay with the Ligue 1 champions.

Mbappe's name is likely to remain in the headlines for some time and, as you would expect, the reactions of the papers in Spain and France are pretty stark…

MARCA: IT TAKES A LOT OF CLASS TO PLAY FOR MADRID

The Madrid-favoured Marca had a picture of Mbappe holding up his "Mbappe 2025" PSG jersey alongside president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, hinting strongly the 23-year-old had shown a distinct lack of class in turning down a move to the Spanish capital. Alongside the splash is the sub-heading "Mbappe betrays Madrid and renews with PSG". 

AS: IT'S HIS LOSS

Fellow Spanish publication AS goes along a similar theme, writing that Mbappe "prefers PSG money" to being a Madrid "legend". It feels like this blockbuster decision will rumble on in the Spanish papers for some time yet.

MUNDO DEPORTIVO: HE STAYS

Published in Barcelona, Mundo naturally has more of a Los Cules flavour but even they could not ignore this announcement – going with a simple "he stays" splash.

L'EQUIPE: FRANCE 2-0 SPAIN

Over in France, there was a much more celebratory feel and L'Equipe's main headline made reference to the fact PSG had got one over Madrid, while Lyon defeated Barcelona in the final of the Women's Champions League. 

LE PARISIEN: PSG REJOICE, MADRID FUMES

A pretty succinct and accurate description of the state of affairs in the whole 'will he, won't he?' saga. The front page also alludes to the "relief" and "huge victory" for PSG's hierarchy, who have placed Mbappe "at the heart of their sports project".

Kylian Mbappe dramatically turned his back on a move to Real Madrid after deciding he would be happiest at Paris Saint-Germain, where he has promised to "make magic".

The France striker, who will spearhead Les Bleus' defence of the World Cup trophy later this year, had been widely expected to join Madrid on a free transfer.

He had just weeks of his contract remaining, and was hesitating in making his plans known.

That was taken for some as being a pretence, to avoid uncomfortable final weeks in Paris, but Mbappe was stewing over what the right move would be, and he determined it was best to stay put at the Parc des Princes. He has signed until 2025, agreeing what is widely assumed to be one of the most lucrative contracts in football history.

He said on Saturday evening: "I would like to announce that I have chosen to extend my contract at Paris Saint-Germain, and of course I am delighted.

"I am convinced that here I can continue to grow at a club that provides everything necessary to perform at the highest level. I am also delighted to continue to play in France, the country where I was born, where I have grown up and where I have made my name."

He thanked Nasser Al-Khelaifi, praising the PSG president "for his trust, his understanding and his patience".

Those comments came as LaLiga chief Javier Tebas launched an attack on PSG's business practices under Al-Khelaifi's leadership, with the Spanish league demanding UEFA and both French and European Union officials investigate the club's affairs.

Mbappe will leave such issues for others to debate. His job is scoring goals and few do it better. He scored twice in the first half-hour of Saturday evening's final Ligue 1 game of PSG's season, with the announcement of his new deal having come moments before kick-off.

That was typical of the 23-year-old, who has been voted player of the season in Ligue 1 for three successive seasons.

"I would also like to thank all the fans of Paris Saint-Germain, both in France and around the world, for their support, especially in recent months," Mbappe said. "Together, side by side and ambitious, we will make magic in Paris."

The goal for PSG is the Champions League title. They were Ligue 1 champions this season, but Madrid knocked them out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage, despite Mbappe scoring in both the home and away legs.

It was a blow that could mean head coach Mauricio Pochettino is soon making way for the next man to accept the challenge of knowing that European supremacy is the be-all and end-all, with Zinedine Zidane reportedly being lined up to replace the former Tottenham boss.

Al-Khelaifi has defended PSG from criticism over spending in the past and can be expected to rebuff the latest accusations from Tebas and LaLiga.

"Kylian's commitment to PSG represents an amazing milestone in the history of our club, and a wonderful moment for our fans around the world," Al-Khelaifi said in a club statement.

"Since the day Kylian joined our family, he has achieved greatness beyond his years on every single stage. In committing to PSG, he will be the foundation of our club's future both on and off the field.

"I am incredibly proud and very happy – for Kylian, for our fans, and our entire PSG family worldwide – that we will continue our wonderful journey together. For our fans and our club, the greatest chapters of our future lie ahead."

Kylian Mbappe has decided to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, turning down Real Madrid in a stunning move that few saw coming.

Los Blancos made multiple bids for Mbappe in 2021, but all were turned down by PSG.

Madrid had been widely expected to sign Mbappe as a free agent, with reports earlier this month claiming the deal was all but done.

Mbappe was voted Ligue 1 player of the season for a third successive time last week, before declaring at the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels award ceremony in Paris that he would resolve his future before France's Nations League fixtures in June.

However, in an extraordinary twist, reports circulated that Mbappe had in fact decided to take up PSG's offer of a new contract and remain in the French capital.

His mother and agent confirmed on Friday that agreements had been reached with both clubs and, on Saturday before PSG's season-ending game against Metz, it was confirmed Mbappe would be staying put. He has signed a three-year deal.

Mbappe was paraded on the pitch before the game at Parc des Princes, with a "2025" shirt.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed another stellar campaign, scoring 36 goals and providing 21 assists across all competitions for PSG.

Mbappe is the club's second-highest goalscorer, behind Edinson Cavani, having overtaken Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he netted for the 157th time in a PSG shirt earlier this season.

Despite their wealth, PSG keeping hold of Mbappe is a huge coup for the Ligue 1 champions.

PSG's efforts to win the Champions League again fell short this term, despite Mbappe's sensational performance over two legs against Madrid, but with the forward still on board, alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, European success will again be the priority target in 2022-23.

 

LaLiga has demanded an investigation into how Paris Saint-Germain have been able to fund a blockbuster new contract for Kylian Mbappe.

The Spanish league body, headed by president Javier Tebas, said it would ask UEFA and authorities in France and at the European Union to investigate the financial affairs of the Ligue 1 champions.

Mbappe's new deal was confirmed on Saturday just before PSG's final Ligue 1 match of the season against Metz

The World Cup winner has signed a deal until 2025, turning down an offer from Real Madrid. It can be reasonably assumed the 23-year-old has penned one of the most lucrative deals in the sport's history.

PSG have been able to attract the likes of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos away from LaLiga clubs, and Tebas said in a Twitter comment that the French club's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had become "as dangerous as the Super League".

LaLiga later issued a statement that made savage comments about PSG's business model.

It said a deal such as the agreement with Mbappe "threatens the economic sustainability of European football, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs and sporting integrity at risk in the medium term, not only from European competitions, but also from our domestic leagues".

The statement added: "It is scandalous that a club like PSG, which last season lost more than 220million euros, after having accumulated losses of 700million euros in recent seasons ... with a cost of sports staff of around 650million for this 21-22 season, can reach an agreement of these characteristics while those clubs that could accept the arrival of the player without seeing their wage bill compromised, are left without being able to sign him.

"For all of the above, LaLiga is going to file a complaint against PSG before UEFA, the administrative and tax authorities in France and before the competent bodies of the European Union, to continue defending the economic ecosystem of European football and its sustainability."

PSG have previously denied breaching financial fair play rules.

LaLiga's statement also directly attacked Al-Khelaifi, saying it hoped that "he would refrain from carrying out these practices knowing the serious damage they cause", given he holds down senior administrative roles in European football.

"This type of behaviour led by Nasser Al-Khelaifi... is a danger to European football at the same level as the Super League," the Spanish league's statement said.

It added that PSG's spending "undoubtedly implies non-compliance with the current economic control regulations not only of UEFA, but of French football itself".

Al-Khelaifi has been president at PSG since October 2011, with Qatar Sports Investments orchestrating dramatic change at the French club, bringing a host of global superstars to the Parc des Princes.

Manchester City, under Abu Dhabi-led ownership, are another club who have spent heavily and achieved a level of success in recent years that had been unprecedented in their history. Newcastle United, meanwhile, are now majority owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

LaLiga said of PSG's spending: "These behaviours denote even more that the state clubs do not respect or want to respect the rules of an economic sector as important as football, key to the sustainability of hundreds of thousands of jobs."

Real Madrid will have been left shaken by Kylian Mbappe's decision to snub them in favour of a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain.

It was common knowledge that Madrid wanted to bring in Mbappe and shape their team around the France striker for the next decade.

The Spanish champions have been used to getting what they want, but this time they have failed to land their number one target, with PSG's financial muscle surely a major factor.

Now Madrid president Florentino Perez must consider the club's next course of action. Do they rely on Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior next season, or has there been a back-up plan in case Mbappe reached this decision?

Here, Stats Perform looks at players that Madrid could consider if they remain intent on bringing in a forward in the close season.

Richarlison (Everton/Brazil)

After five years spent fumbling around mid-table and the lower reaches of the Premier League with Watford and latterly Everton, Richarlison seems long overdue a move to a club where he might challenge for honours. The 25-year-old has previously been linked with Madrid and Barcelona, and more recently Manchester United, and he would bring a roving threat to any side he joins. Capable of playing wide or in the centre, or flitting between roles, Richarlison has reached double figures in Premier League goals in three of his four seasons with Everton, and in a World Cup year this could be the ideal time to move for the striker. Should he dazzle at Qatar 2022, that price tag could go skywards.

Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain/Brazil)

PSG were desperate to retain Mbappe, but would they feel the same way about Neymar? Five years into his PSG career, Neymar is now 30 years old and this is the first season when he has managed more than 20 league appearances for the Parisians. Injuries have disrupted his stay at the Parc des Princes, and while he remains a wonderfully gifted player and a joy to watch at times, if PSG want to recoup a chunk of the huge outlay that brought him to Paris from Barcelona, now might be the time for that. It would be an impudent approach for Madrid to make, and Neymar's Barcelona history adds a further complication, given the rivalry, but the player himself may be tempted.

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)

If Madrid have a statement signing in mind to ease the pain of missing Mbappe, then joining the race for Lewandowski and gazumping Barcelona would be one way of going about that. Lewandowski has told Bayern he wants to leave, and ideally before next season. Barcelona are certainly interested, but their financial problems are well known. Could Madrid be better placed to land the highest scorer from Europe's top five leagues this season? Lewandowski hit 50 goals in 46 games across all competitions for Bayern, with Madrid's Benzema second on the list and Mbappe third. Whether Madrid would want a player who turns 34 in August when they already have a 34-year-old frontman in Benzema is a moot point.

Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina)

Mbappe would have arrived in Madrid on a free transfer, given his contract at PSG was coming to an end. If their priority is to pick up a forward without an initial transfer fee outlay, then Dybala becomes an option. Roma and a host of Premier League clubs have been linked with the Argentina international, whose Juventus contract is expiring. He has scored at least 15 goals in five of his seven seasons with Juve, and would bring a creative presence to Madrid, and bundles of trophy-winning experience.

Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig/France)

If Madrid cannot have Mbappe for now, then his and Benzema's France team-mate Nkunku looks like a strong alternative option. With 34 goals in 51 games for Leipzig this season (prior to Saturday's DFB-Pokal final), Nkunku has proven himself in Germany and in European competition, and the obvious next step is a move to a super-club. The 24-year-old PSG academy graduate pipped the likes of Lewandowski and Erling Haaland to be named the Bundesliga's player of the year, underlining his status as a growing force in the game.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt)

Would they want Salah, or would they prefer his team-mate Sadio Mane? Either way, a Madrid approach could be Liverpool's worst nightmare. Both Salah and Mane have contracts that run to the end of next season, and they have again been tearing it up this term for the quadruple-hunting Reds. They are hot property and are coming to the point where they are considering probably the last bumper contracts of their careers. Would they fit in at Madrid? Both have the flair and finishing class that suggest they would be ideal acquisitions, and Madrid will get a close-up look in the Champions League final.

Kylian Mbappe has decided to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, turning down Real Madrid in a stunning move that few saw coming.

Los Blancos made multiple bids for Mbappe in 2021, but all were turned down by PSG.

Madrid had been widely expected to sign Mbappe as a free agent, with reports earlier this month claiming the deal was all but done.

Mbappe was voted Ligue 1 player of the season for a third successive time last week, before declaring at the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels award ceremony in Paris that he would resolve his future before France's Nations League fixtures in June.

However, in an extraordinary twist, reports circulated that Mbappe had in fact decided to take up PSG's offer of a new contract and remain in the French capital.

His mother and agent confirmed on Friday that agreements had been reached with both clubs and, on Saturday before PSG's season-ending game against Metz, it was confirmed Mbappe would be staying put. He has signed a three-year deal.

Mbappe was paraded on the pitch before the game at Parc des Princes, with a "2025" shirt.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed another stellar campaign, scoring 36 goals and providing 21 assists across all competitions for PSG.

Mbappe is the club's second-highest goalscorer, behind Edinson Cavani, having overtaken Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he netted for the 157th time in a PSG shirt earlier this season.

Despite their wealth, PSG keeping hold of Mbappe is a huge coup for the Ligue 1 champions.

PSG's efforts to win the Champions League again fell short this term, despite Mbappe's sensational performance over two legs against Madrid, but with the forward still on board, alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, European success will again be the priority target in 2022-23.

 

LaLiga chief Javier Tebas took a swipe at Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi as it emerged Real Madrid have missed out on Kylian Mbappe, claiming the Qatari was "as dangerous as the Super League". 

The Spanish league did not have sufficient appeal to persuade Mbappe to give up the riches on offer at PSG, as reports on Saturday said the 23-year-old has picked Paris over Madrid. 

Al-Khelaifi has been president at PSG since October 2011, with Qatar Sports Investments orchestrating dramatic change at the French club, bringing a host of global superstars to the Parc des Princes. 

He resisted pushing PSG into the controversial European Super League project, but the enormous investment in the club has not gone unquestioned. They have been able to attract the likes of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos away from LaLiga. 

LaLiga president Tebas has now questioned how PSG can afford to offer World Cup winner Mbappe what is expected to be one of the biggest deals in the history of football. 

Cadena Cope radio show Tiempo de Juego has claimed LaLiga could launch a complaint against PSG over the renewal of Mbappe, questioning whether the Ligue 1 champions are operating within financial fair play limits. 

Tebas wrote on Twitter: "What PSG are going to do by renewing Mbappe with large amounts of money (namely where and how they pay him) after giving losses of €700m in recent seasons and having more than €600m of salary bill, is an INSULT to football. Al-Khelaifi is as dangerous as the Super League." 

Kylian Mbappe looks set to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, and reports of his decision to turn down a move to Real Madrid have been welcomed by the mayor of the French capital.

Anne Hidalgo, who has been serving as the mayor of Paris since 2014, was quick to react to news that the superstar striker is seemingly poised to extend his contract.

The saga that had seen PSG and Madrid in a tug-of-war over the France international's services looks to have been won by the Ligue 1 champions.

Widespread reports in France and Spain on Saturday assured that the decision has been made, and that 23-year-old World Cup winner Mbappe has picked his home city club over the Spanish champions.

Reacting to a report by RMC Sport, Hidalgo wrote on Twitter, "Que bien!!!!", which translates as "How good!!!!", accompanied by red and blue hearts – the colours of PSG.

Assuming it is confirmed, the coup of PSG keeping Mbappe will be widely seen as a major fillip for the city of Paris, which will host the 2024 Olympic Games and Paralympics.

Kylian Mbappe has decided to stay at Paris Saint-Germain instead of joining Real Madrid, according to multiple reports.

Real Madrid were widely expected to sign Mbappe as a free agent following the expiration of his contract.

However, PSG were determined to keep the 23-year-old forward – who has been in sensational form this season – and they now seem to have won that battle.

Earlier this week the pendulum seemed to have swung firmly in Madrid's direction, with reports suggesting talks between Mbappe and PSG's Qatari owners had not swayed the striker, and that he wanted to join Los Blancos.

 

Mbappe's mother and agent confirmed on Friday that agreements had been reached with both clubs and a decision would be made over the weekend.

On Saturday, multiple major publications in France, including L'Equipe and Le Parisien, as well as ESPN, reported the former Monaco striker will be staying put.

No details were put forward as to the length of Mbappe's new contract, though it was suggested the France star could confirm his decision at the Parc des Princes following PSG's season-ending match against Metz on Saturday.

Mbappe is the club's second-highest goalscorer in their history, behind Edinson Cavani, having overtaken Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he netted for the 157th time in a PSG shirt earlier this season.

The news will come as a blow to Madrid, who face Liverpool in the Champions League final next week.

Los Blancos had also been linked with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, but he has decided to join Manchester City, and it appears as though Madrid president Florentino Perez will be made to wait for his next Galactico.

Xavi has insisted Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland were never realistic targets for Barcelona, though he is confident he will have money to invest in the squad. 

Barca wrap up what has been a turbulent season against Villarreal on Sunday. 

The Blaugrana will finish second in LaLiga, a testament to the work done by Xavi since he replaced the much-maligned Ronald Koeman earlier in the campaign. 

However, they were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage and fell to a defeat to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals, while there was no success in the Copa del Rey either. 

The 2021-22 season came on the back of Lionel Messi's shock departure, as Barca grappled with financial issues that saw the superstar leave for Paris Saint-Germain. 

Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore arrived to bolster the squad in January, though the latter two were on a free transfer and a loan respectively. 

Barca were linked with moves for Mbappe and Haaland. However, Mbappe is weighing up offers from Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid while Haaland is joining Manchester City, and Xavi has claimed there was never any chance of the Blaugrana having the financial capability to sign such players. 

 

"Ask me another question," he told a news conference on Saturday. "Mbappe, let him do what he wants, let him be happy.  

"We do not enter into this equation. I do not understand the question. 

"We cannot put a lot of money in. The economic situation is what it is. We did not enter the bidding of Haaland or Mbappe but that is what we have inherited. 

"There is no need to look back. You have to carry on. We have to compete and win titles again, we need to be competitive from now on. 

"The president transmits confidence to me and that we will be able to invest in our squad. We have made a plan and we will try to execute it.  

"The economic situation is serious but it is not my turn to talk about money. I'm here to talk about football. The economic problems are what they are, but let's talk about football." 

One player who has been heavily linked is Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, who plundered 50 goals in all competitions in the 2021-22 campaign. 

 

No player across Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals than the Poland striker this season, but he has told Bayern he wishes to leave and will not be signing a new contract, with his deal ending in June 2023. 

However, LaLiga president Javier Tebas on Friday cast doubt on Barca's ability to be able to afford the 34-year-old. 

Asked about Lewandowski, Xavi said: "It is one of the possibilities that may come. He has said it himself.  

"There are some negotiations involved. It will not be easy with Bayern involved." 

One possible outgoing at Barca who could free up funds would be Frenkie de Jong. Both Manchester clubs are credited with an interest in the Netherlands international who joined from Ajax in 2019, though it has been reported the 25-year-old is in no rush to leave the Camp Nou. 

"Here we go back to talking about the economic situation," replied Xavi when pressed on the De Jong speculation.  

"He is, for me, a great player who is very capable and very dominating, he can help us a lot, but we go back to talking about money and I don't want to do that." 

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