Why is Mbappé currently worth €0 on the market?


An increasing number of players are opting to run down their contracts, hoping for better payment terms and signing bonuses come negotiation time. Consequently, clubs must be vigilant in convincing players with just a year left on their deals to either commit to extensions or offload them before their contracts expire, thus capitalizing on potential transfer revenues.

Should a player choose to see out their contract, clubs find themselves with limited recourse, ultimately having to release them "for free." This dynamic sees the player's value take a temporary dip as they gradually transition to the status of "free agent" during the final six months of their contract, leaving clubs unable to cash in on their departure. This trend, increasingly prevalent in the footballing landscape, reaches its zenith when one of the game's elite finds themselves in a similar situation.

According to the latest reports swirling in the press, Kylian Mbappé has informed Paris Saint-Germain FC president and teammates that he will leave the club in the summer, but it’s still uncertain where he will continue his career. The most likely destination is Real Madrid CF, and according to Marca, the French star has already signed a contract with the Spanish club, although an official announcement has not been made - yet.

According to the Football Benchmark player valuation methodology, Mbappé's market value has plummeted to zero euros, because he is currently in the final months of his PSG contract. We apply this approach because come the next transfer window, he could potentially be snatched up by a new club without a penny changing hands in transfer fees. Sure, there'll be signing bonuses and other costs to weigh on the club that secures his services, but the bottom line is: his current value is zero because the next time anyone could purchase his playing rights, they will not have to negotiate with PSG as Mbappé will already be a free agent.

In 2022, Paris Saint-Germain FC pulled out all the stops to retain Mbappé's services, dangling a fresh, short-term contract in front of him. But in doing so, they gambled with the looming prospect of Mbappé becoming a free agent come January 31, 2024, able to negotiate his departure from PSG without a transfer fee. The club rolled the dice, and it appears they've now likely missed out on a hefty sum in potential transfer earnings. Nevertheless, this scenario could be avoided if Mbappé decides to sign a new contract with PSG.

Yet, the moment he inks that new deal, odds are, he'll catapult to the top of our valuation ranking as one of - if not the - most coveted players on the planet, a title he's worn many a time in recent memory.

So, if Kylian Mbappé isn't currently among the globe's priciest players, who's making waves in the top 10? At Football Benchmark, where we meticulously update the market values of over 10,000 players five times annually, breaking into this elite list is no small feat. With our latest February update in the books, let's take a closer look at the current cream of the crop – the top 10 most valuable players in the world.

Making a return from injury, Erling Haaland leads the pack alongside two stellar talents from Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham and Vinícius Júnior. Hot on their heels is Bukayo Saka, whose scintillating form in recent seasons has caught the eye, while Jamal Musiala continues to impress despite not reaching the heights of last season with Bayern München in 2023/24.

It's worth noting that among the top five players, only Jude Bellingham has managed to boost his value (+€13.61M), with the remaining quartet experiencing a (small) dip in their market worth compared to the previous period. Among the top 20 most valuable players, Xavi Simons, who is on loan at RB Leipzig from Paris Saint-Germain (+€14.3M), along with Arsenal's defensive stalwart William Saliba (+€14.0M), have significantly increased their market values since last December, alongside Bellingham.

The players who've seen their market worth soar by over €20M since last December include Kobbie Mainoo, Nico Williams, Jarrad Branthwaite, Leny Yoro, and Cole Palmer.

Both Manchester City FC and Real Madrid CF boast three representatives in the top 10, underlining their dominance. Now, let's delve deeper into the top 10 most valuable squads.

The prestigious "1 billion club" now boasts six esteemed members: Manchester City FC, Arsenal FC, Real Madrid CF, Liverpool FC, FC Barcelona, and FC Bayern München. However, Paris Saint-Germain FC, a former mainstay of this exclusive group, witnessed a decline in value, largely attributed to Kylian Mbappé's contract nearing its end with the reigning French champions.

Unsurprisingly, the English Premier League asserts its dominance yet again, with six out of the top 10 clubs playing in the English top tier. It's a testament to the league's financial prowess and global appeal. When we scrutinize the aggregate value of players across football leagues, the EPL emerges as the undisputed leader.

The aggregate squad value of the English Premier League (EPL) is more than double of the Spanish LaLiga's, solidifying its status as the leading force. However, the gap between LaLiga, the German Bundesliga, and Italian Serie A is relatively narrow. As anticipated, the European "Big Five" leagues maintain their stronghold atop the rankings by aggregate squad value.

It may not be very surprising that the EFL Championship, a second-tier league, outshines non-"Big Five" first-tier leagues like Portugal's Primeira Liga, but it's still a clear testament to the current dominance of the English football system. However, it is important to note that there are 6 more clubs (158 more players) in the Championship than in the Portuguese top tier.

Diving into the top 100 players by value, it's a tale dominated by the "Big Five", with only two outliers from other leagues - Antonio Silva (EUR 72.8m) and Diogo Costa (EUR 57.7m), both plying their trade in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.