Real Madrid can’t afford to hold their own in pursuit of £ 173million Kylian Mbappe ahead of Liverpool … Cristiano Ronaldo is an idol for the PSG superstar but Real can only sign him if it’s FREE is
It wasn’t that long ago that Liverpool, in order to beat Real Madrid and Barcelona in the transfer market, had to beat that player’s hearts faster – to win him over with You’ll Never Walk Alone against the greater financial power of the Spanish Societies.
Now the roles are reversed. If Real Madrid want Kylian Mbappe to move to Spain off Merseyside or Manchester, they have to sell him the idea of wearing Cristiano Ronaldo’s old No. 7 jersey and setting fire to the renovated Santiago Bernabeu – money alone is no longer enough because that’s The Premier League has the greater financial strength.
Madrid are yet to negotiate a cap-wide wage cut this season to avoid £ 78m in losses. They let Martin Odegaard and Luca Jovic on loan in January, despite both being potentially key squad players to ease pressure on wage costs.
And they fear the return of top earner Gareth Bale next summer, with one year left on his lucrative contract.
Kylian Mbappe is the most wanted man in football, but for once Real Madrid has competition
As a young child in France, Mbappe adored Cristiano Ronaldo and followed his every move
You just can’t afford Mbappe this summer as there is a € 200m (£ 173m) transfer fee on top of wages.
The PSG’s rating of the player can be interpreted in two ways. Either this suggests a pessimism towards the player signing a new contract that would keep him at the Ligue 1 club beyond the summer of 2022.
Or it’s just their way of saying it’s just not for sale. That’s PSG, so € 200m means € 200m, it’s not an invitation to haggle and if they have to lose it for free in a year’s time, they will. They did it with other players, they even left Adrien Rabiot in the stands for half a season. Money does not matter. Financial fair play rules are important, but finances are not.
This week Mbappe did a hat trick to Barcelona on the biggest stage of them all
Increasingly, Madrid see the best chance of landing the player coming from him who only has eyes for them. As Ronaldo Nazario once said: “Top players always play where they want”.
Mbappe appears to have learned Spanish when he said to Jordi Alba in the Nou camp on Tuesday: “I would kill you on the street”.
If he’s ready to see his current contract with PSG and then pursue a childhood dream of being the new Ronaldo and joining the club his mother once said he should play for, then Madrid will have her husband . But it has to be a sentimental decision, at least in part.
Mbappe attended Real Madrid’s training ground in Valdebebas as a teenager in 2012. He came on the recommendation of the then youth team coach Zinedine Zidane. The connection with Zidane would be another incentive if the French coach can stay in the job long enough.
Mbappe was photographed during the visit with Cristiano Ronaldo, the man whose posters were pasted over his bedroom wall. And a Madrid-based L’Equipe journalist spoke about Mbappe’s mother, Fayza Lamari, admitting to friends that her son would play at the club.
During a visit to the training ground as a young teenager, Mbappe met Ronaldo for a photo
Ronaldo’s Madrid legend inspired Mbappe and now they want him to follow in his footsteps
When the emotional appeal works, Florentino Perez can provide the player the fans want to sign. But there is a nervousness about the situation and private admissions that Madrid’s old guarantees to always get her husband no longer exist.
No club in the world is as badly affected by the economic aftershock of the pandemic as Barclona and Real Madrid.
When Mbappe’s father Wilfried sits down with Nasser Al-Khelaifi to negotiate a new contract with PSG, he’ll at least have to catch up with Neymar, who earns £ 32m (€ 37m) net per season. Achieving this would cost Madrid € 74 million gross per season and € 370 million under a five-year deal.
A best-case scenario where fans are again open for normal business operations in full stadiums and airports around the world could make this more workable. However, if football returns to where it was when Lionel Messi signed his last deal in 2017, Mbappe will charge more than € 74m per season.
Madrid see Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool as a real threat to the Mbappe pursuit
All of this would be a gamble for a club that needs to start repaying the € 575 million in credit raised for the stadium renovation in 2023.
Meanwhile, other clubs rub hands without the same financial hindrances as LaLiga competition for the world’s dwindling best players subsides.
It is unlikely that Ligue 1 will be able to hold onto Mbappe that long with their own financial problems. Just as the Bundesliga could have difficulties containing Erling Haaland.
But guarantees that Real Madrid could fend off Premier League competition with a wave of the checkbook are long gone.