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One of the subplots of every World Cup focuses on transfers. When the entire soccer world is watching the same event, it’s the perfect opportunity for a player to put themself in the shop window. Just think back to 2014, when James Rodriguez turned a strong tournament into a big-money move to Real Madrid.

The players who move after the World Cup usually fit a specific profile. They’re young, play for a relatively small or a “selling” club, and haven’t dominated on the global stage just yet. Kylian Mbappe may be 23 years old, but he’s one of soccer’s biggest stars.

Despite that reality, the 2022 World Cup could set the stage for him to leave France and face an entirely new challenge.

How much is Kylian Mbappe’s PSG contract worth?

During the 2022 transfer window, all signs pointed toward Mbappe leaving PSG for Real Madrid. The star forward ultimately committed his future to the French giants, though, signing a two-year extension with a mutual option for a third.

While wage reporting can be inconsistent across the soccer space, especially when you consider various bonuses, it’s safe to say that Mbappe is earning plenty of money. FB-Ref lists his salary at a shade under $75 million per season for both the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons. He’ll take him the same amount in 2024-25, should he still be under contract at the time (we’ll get to that shortly).

As the cliche says, though, money can’t buy happiness.

While the striker’s numbers are as strong as ever — he’s posted 12 goals and two assists through 14 league matches and has elite attacking metrics — there’s been some trouble in paradise. As Adam Crofton laid out in a story for The Athletic, there have been rumors of divisions within the PSG squad. Mbappe also disagreed with Neymar over who should take a penalty kick, visibly stopped a run in frustration after failing to receive a pass, and has reportedly been unhappy with the idea that he has a significant say in the club’s personnel decisions.

There have also been plenty of rumors in the French press about Mbappe’s overall unhappiness in Paris. While those should obviously be taken with a grain of salt, there could be a suggestion that smoke does imply the existence of some metaphorical fire.

When does Mbappe’s current contract end?

This is where things get a bit interesting. The common understanding was that Kylian Mbappe signed a three-year extension with PSG. In reality, that isn’t 100% accurate.

As Crofton noted, the contract was actually for two additional years with a mutual option for the third. PSG cannot trigger that extra season’s worth of service on their own; Mbappe has to sign on the dotted line, too.

In practice, that means the summer of 2023 could be a telling moment. If we take the lessons from this past summer and apply them to the future, PSG’s brass won’t want to suffer the indignity of letting their star player leave on a free transfer. That would mean the upcoming summer window is the only logical time to sell.

When you factor in whatever happens in Qatar, Mbappe could also have some personal motivations to move

Kylian Mbappe during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Kylian Mbappe recently signed a new contract with PSG, but that doesn’t mean he’s staying in France forever. | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

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By looking at Mbappe’s contract, we can understand why PSG might be motivated to sell. Now, it’s time to look at the other side of the coin: the man himself.

The forward is already one of the biggest names in global football. He’s dominated the French league with PSG and won the World Cup with his national team. At this point, all he can really do is keep stacking up individual honors — a Ballon d’Or, for example, will eventually arrive — and win the Champions League.

Consider the two ways the 2022 World Cup can unfold: France will either repeat as champions, with Mbappe playing a central role, or Les Bleus will go home in disappointment. While those are two drastically different outcomes, they can both shape the Parisian’s future.

If things end in glory, the striker will be on top of the footballing world. He’ll already have two global titles to his name, giving him something of a free hit for the rest of his career. If we believe the 23-year-old does dream of playing for Real Madrid, why wouldn’t he want to pursue it? He already has a virtually untouchable resume, and the individual honors would only continue to pile up in Spain.

Should things go south, though, Mbappe could head home with a different perspective. France is a talented team, but, if injuries and the randomness of sports are enough to keep them from reaching, the PSG star might feel compelled to take his destiny into his own hands. If he feels that he needs a Champions League trophy to cement his place in football history, maybe it’s necessary to join a club with a history of dominating the competition. Being a big fish in a small pond forever might not earn him the same praise.

At this point in time, though, there are still plenty of moving parts. We don’t know how the 2022 World Cup will end, let alone PSG’s season. With that being said, though, don’t overlook Kylian Mbappe and his current contract. We could be talking transfers again before you know it.