Landing Kylian Mbappe is nothing but a pipe dream for Liverpool

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Liverpool are long-time admirers of Kylian Mbappe, who is leaving Paris Saint-Germain this summer. While we have been linked with the forward, Real Madrid are considered the frontrunners in landing the 25-year-old.

The Frenchman met with LFC back in 2017, but it didn’t amount to anything. With the World Cup winner leaving PSG, rumours of where he’s going next started surfacing last summer. However, departing Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said he would be surprised if Mbappe ended up at Anfield simply because of the financial conditions.

What’s more likely is that Liverpool pursue Anthony Gordon in their post-Klopp rebuild. The Newcastle winger comes at a significantly lower price tag than Mbappe, a reported £85m compared to rumours about Real Madrid preparing an offer worth £130m plus a percentage of image rights for the French superstar.

Besides adding a new forward, Liverpool, like many other clubs, have more pieces to put together this summer to field a new team under Arne Slot. Staying conservative and holding on to the cash is the right option while avoiding superstars like Mbappe. With a rebuilding situation and club revenues behind other top clubs in Europe, it just doesn’t make sense to splurge.

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Besides cash injections from healthy beneficiaries, profits can’t be significantly boosted to accommodate specific deals. All clubs have a steady cash flow from broadcasting rights, commercial deals, and matchday sales. With broadcasting rights, the Premier League sells the rights to media companies.

The revenue generated is divided amongst all PL clubs according to the standings in the league table. This is the most significant revenue stream, and besides performing on the pitch, each club can’t negotiate better terms to earn more income.

The second biggest is commercial revenue, which primarily comes from sponsorships. For example, Liverpool are under contract with multinational bank Standard Chartered for front-of-shirt sponsorship, a deal worth £200m which will end in 2027. Even here, there are limitations to what the clubs can and cannot do.

Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on April 16, 2024. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

From the 2025/26 season, iGaming companies, such as online betting firms, will be removed from the front of jerseys as part of new PL rules pushed down by the UK government in line with new policies.

Historically, iGaming sponsorship deals have been significant but have decreased recently. However, they are still the most common sponsor, with many clubs milking the last of it before iGaming gets banned.

For example, before the season, Newcastle reached an agreement with BetMGM from the United States. They’re becoming the main betting partner, tapping into the brand’s Las Vegas roots to bring the best iGaming entertainment from Nevada to Newcastle.

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Online sports betting has become big business across the pond since it was legalised in 2018. Leading US online sports betting firms are already featured on sports teams in the MLS and other major US sports such as the NFL. Penetration in new domestic markets is slow and largely dependent on the pace at which individual states legalise the activity.

This is what prompted US sports betting brands like BetMGM to venture into foreign markets. With many UK and European betting companies already on the market, introducing US brands will up the ante in becoming selected advertising partners, potentially boosting revenues. With the new rules, some of that pressure will be removed from 2025 and onwards, risking hampering UK club revenues.

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The third largest source of revenue, and the one over which the club has the most control, is matchday revenue generated from ticket sales, hospitality and other matchday-related activities and services. Improving infrastructure to allow VIP lounges and maximise food, beverage and merchandise sales are ways to enhance income.

In the case of landing Mbappe, Liverpool’s hands are pretty much tied to what they have and what they bring in from broadcasting rights as part of finishing third in the league. This, along with reaching the Europa League quarter-finals, will bring in around £190m in prize money ahead of the summer transfer window.

That’s a large chunk of money with which to play around during the transfer window, but not enough to sign Mbappe at approximately £130m and then have enough left to field other players around him under Slot’s new system.

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