Mbappe's future dominates final hours of transfer window

While the moves for 34-year-old Messi and 36-year-old Ronaldo represent a shift in world football's tectonic plates, the future of 22-year-old Mbappe is potentially more significant for the sport in the long term.

Transfer window's final hours have been dominated by French football star Kylian Mbappe and the potential transfer from PSG to Real Madrid. (FILE PHOTO)   -  AP

A dizzying transfer window that has seen Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo change clubs went into its final hours on Tuesday with the issue of whether Kylian Mbappe could make a blockbuster move from Paris Saint-Germain to Real Madrid still unresolved.

The future of Mbappe dominated the final day of a remarkable window in which Messi moved to PSG after spending his entire career at increasingly cash-strapped Barcelona and Ronaldo made a sensational return to former club Manchester United.

While the moves for 34-year-old Messi and 36-year-old Ronaldo represented a shift in world football's tectonic plates, the future of 22-year-old Mbappe is potentially more significant for the sport in the long term.

Already a World Cup winner, Mbappe's goals could vastly improve the fortunes of Real, who was beaten to the Spanish title by local rival Atletico Madrid last season.

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But having signed Messi to line up alongside Neymar and Mbappe in a formidable attacking trio, Qatari-owned PSG has been fighting to keep their striker in the face of a sustained offensive from Real.

A PSG insider denied reports the Spanish giants, having had bids of 160 million euros ($189 million) and 180 million euros rejected, had made a third bid of 200 million euros.

If Paris-born Mbappe stays, and with each passing hour that prospect looked more likely, then PSG will believe it has its strongest chance ever of winning an elusive Champions League.

Apart from the addition of Messi, it has also signed four-time Champions League winner Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid and one of the world's top goalkeepers, Gianluigi Donnarumma, on a free transfer from AC Milan.

It also strengthened its midfield with Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool and Morocco right-back Achraf Hakimi, who shone for Inter Milan last season.

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