Cash-strapped Real Madrid can’t AFFORD to get ahead of Liverpool in the £173m chase of Kylian Mbappe… Cristiano Ronaldo is an idol for the PSG superstar but Real can only sign him if it’s for FREE
It wasn’t so long ago that for Liverpool to beat Real Madrid and Barcelona in the transfer market they would have had to pull at the heart strings of the player in question – winning him over with you’ll never walk alone against the greater financial might of the Spanish clubs.
Now roles are reversed. If Real Madrid want Kylian Mbappe to move to Spain ahead of Merseyside or Manchester they will have to sell him the idea of wearing Cristiano Ronaldo’s old number seven and lighting up the refurbished Santiago Bernabeu – money alone will no longer do the trick because the Premier League has the greater financial muscle.
Madrid still need to negotiate a squad-wide pay cut this season to avoid £78million (€90m) losses. They let Martin Odegaard and Luca Jovic out on loan in January, despite both being potentially vital squad players, to ease pressure on the wage bill.
And they are dreading the return of top earner Gareth Bale next summer with a year still left on his lucrative contract.
Kylian Mbappe is the most wanted man in football but for once Real Madrid have competition
They simply cannot afford Mbappe this summer with a €200m (£173m) transfer fee on top of wages.
PSG’s valuation of the player can be interpreted in two ways. It’s either suggests a pessimism over the player signing a new deal that would keep him at the Ligue 1 club beyond the summer of 2022.
Or it is just their way of saying he’s simply not for sale. This is PSG after all so 200m means 200m, it’s not an invitation to haggle, and if they have to lose him for free in a year’s time they will. They have done it with other players, they even left Adrien Rabiot in the stands for half a season. Money is no object. Financial fair play rules matter but finances don’t.
This week, on the biggest stage of all, Mbappe smashed a hat-trick past Barcelona
Increasingly Madrid see their best chance of landing the player coming from him only having eyes for them. As Ronaldo Nazario once said: ‘top players always play where they want to’.
Mbappe certainly seems to have learned Spanish judging from his perfectly elocuted: ‘I’d kill you in the street’ to Jordi Alba on Tuesday at the Camp Nou.
If he is prepared to see out his current deal at PSG and then follow a boyhood dream of being the new Ronaldo and joining the club his mother once declared he was destined to play for, then Madrid will get their man. But it will have to be, in part at least, a sentimental decision.
Mbappe visited Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground as a teenager in 2012. It was on then youth team coach Zinedine Zidane’s recommendation that he came. Linking…
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