Real Madrid have reportedly laid out an audacious 12-month transfer plan with the aim of landing both Kylian Mbappe AND Erling Haaland.
Clubs across Europe are scrambling for the two rising superstars, both of whom could be on the move in the near future.
Mbappe is still stalling over a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain as his current deal approaches its final year.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund ace Haaland has a £68million release clause in his contract which becomes active next summer.
The uncertainty over both players is putting increasing pressure on their respective clubs to cash-in on their talents now in the upcoming transfer window rather than lose them for a reduced fee or, in Mbappe’s case, nothing.
Real boss Zinedine Zidane revealed previously it was Mbappe’s ‘dream’ to play in the white of the Los Blancos and that eventuality could be happening sooner rather than later.
According to AS , Madrid are looking to capitalise on PSG’s compromising contract position by launching a bid to sign Mbappe this summer.
The 22-year-old cost PSG a total of £166million when he completed his permanent move from Monaco in 2018.
PSG will not want to let the forward go without recouping at least some of that figure, which will likely force club chiefs to the negotiating table in the coming months.
Mbappe has not signalled whether he wants to leave PSG, but his reluctance to open fresh contract talks are seen as a sign he considers his future better served elsewhere.
Dortmund have had more success in convincing Haaland his immediate future is at the Westfalenstadion, with an ‘agreement’ in place between both parties that the striker will stay put until 2022.
While the German club could earn more from selling their star man this summer, Dortmund want Haaland to spearhead their challenge for the title next season as they see it as their best opportunity to finally try and dethrone Bayern Munich.
That suits Madrid perfectly, as they do not have the necessary funds to sign both targets this summer, but can focus their efforts on prising Mbappe from PSG now and then have a year to wait to land Haaland for a cut-price.
Haaland does of course have other potential suitors keen on his signature, but he is thought to share the same desire as Mbappe to play for Madrid, whose transfer strategy suits Dortmund’s motives.
Madrid were one of the clubs to hold talks with his father Alfe-Inge Haaland and agent Mino Raiola recently.
Moreover, the strong relations between Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and Real president Florentino Pérez are likely to prove pivotal in any deal.
There is one caveat in all this, as Haaland could look to force his exit this summer if Dortmund do not qualify for the Champions League next season.
They are currently fifth in the Bundesliga with the race heating up between them and Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg with four matches remaining.
PSG could also throw a spanner in the works if they choose to stand firm and block Mbappe from leaving this summer.
In that event, Madrid will ‘flip’ their plan and go all out for Haaland this summer and wait to sign Mbappe for free next year.
Perez is desperate to eventually have both players lining up in attack for Madrid in the freshly renovated Santiago Bernabeu, which reopens ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Madrid have been saddled with a concerning amount of debt as a result of the development work on their stadium but the general consensus is that the club will recover financially once fans are allowed back to matches.
In the meantime the club are focusing on offsetting the costs of any new arrivals by letting current stars go, with David Alaba due to arrive on a free transfer from Bayern Munich this summer as Sergio Ramos’ contract comes to an end.
Zidane is also aware other areas in his squad need freshening up – namely his midfield – and is keeping a close eye on Paul Pogba’s contract situation at Man United, while Rennes’ starlet Eduardo Camavinga remains a long-term target.