There are few individuals who divide opinions in the world of football as much as Florentino Perez. The president of Real Madrid is seldom out of the news, mostly for the club’s eye-popping transfers or his own outlandish statements. With the proposal for the European Super League still very much alive after yesterday’s court ruling, there is no doubt that this particular issue will be at the forefront sooner than later again.
— Globe Soccer Awards (@Globe_Soccer) July 5, 2019
Moving to a more club-based analysis of his, Perez has always gone after the biggest stars in the market- the ‘Galacticos.’ Names like Ronaldo, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, and more have worn the shirt with distinction. The supposed next on this list and a player whom Perez has made it his mission to sign is PSG and French superstar Kylian Mbappe.
NEXT GALACTICO FOR PEREZ?
Mbappe has been long touted as the heir to the trio of Lionel Messi-Ronaldo-Neymar. Having burst onto the scene with Monaco in their title-winning campaign four years ago, he has gone on to reach epic heights. The 22-year-old has been banging in goals for PSG which has seen him win the Golden Boot award three consecutive years.
INSANE numbers 🔥
— LiveScore (@livescore) December 20, 2020
He also played a key role in helping France win the 2018 World Cup, becoming the first teenager to score in the final since Pele. Blessed with devastating pace and an unerring finish in front of goal, Mbappe is already the poster boy of upcoming strikers.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 21, 2018
All of this makes him exactly the kind of player that Madrid would be interested in. That fact has been no secret in either Spain or France. Perez has fielded multiple questions regarding the future of Mbappe, whose current contract expires next year, and whether Madrid is already the foregone conclusion.
RUINING THE PRESENT
Although Mbappe has been coy about his next club and regarding a possible contract extension, Perez has already gotten to work in gathering up the finances. Los Blancos have already parted ways with two of their centrepieces in Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, thereby freeing up wages.
4 – Sergio Ramos is the fourth player with the most @LaLigaEN games played for Real Madrid (469) and the second one with the most titles won in the Blancos history (22, alongside Sanchís and Marcelo), only surpassed by Paco Gento (23). Legend. pic.twitter.com/a5aOX26X3R
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 16, 2021
Furthermore, Martin Odegaard and Isco are also potentially on the transfer list which can fetch a decent amount of money. Perez has signed David Alaba who is far removed from the star names of the years gone by, that too on a free transfer. What the departures of Varane and Ramos have done is leave Madrid without their senior pros in a critical year where they look to recapture the La Liga crown.
Isco is attracting interest from Premier League sides https://t.co/CkE8jzEXBa
— Football España (@footballespana_) July 26, 2021
The Spaniard has been the most important leader in the dressing room for years, leading by distinction and embodying the spirit of “never say die.” His partnership with Varane was the foundation on which four Champions League titles were won along with the league. Both of these decisions have been strange but the underlying goal makes it a bit clearer.
The investment made in Eden Hazard back in 2019 is yet to pay off, with the Belgian struggling with injuries and loss of form. Perhaps that has made Perez cautious over his next big-money move. He only wants to go for an assured star who promises to deliver week in and week out. Their current major goal threat is Karim Benzema who is not getting any younger. Nevertheless, he remains Los Blancos’ biggest source of goals and had dismally little support last season.
💥 21 GOALS
💥 7 ASSISTS
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) April 21, 2021
In this regard, going all-out after Mbappe seems like a no-brainer. The Frenchman has a huge ceiling of development and can justifiably become the next Galactico. That deal, if it happens next year, seems to jeopardize the upcoming season. La Liga has tightened its financial cap on teams and is in no mood to relent. Barcelona are finding it out the hard way, in desperate need to offload stars. Though Madrid’s situation is not quite that bad, they still have to reduce their wage bill considerably if they do sign Mbappe.
Perez has categorically stated that the Frenchman is a player they are heavily interested in, and it does seem like only a matter of time before negotiations start. Mbappe, for his part, has been tight-lipped on his future and Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that there has been no talk regarding the contract situation.
Mauricio Pochettino speaks at length to Le Parisien, including on Kylian Mbappé's contract situation:
"We'll treat him in the same way we would someone who has another five years left."https://t.co/arBymoyePv
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) July 29, 2021
However, the matter of sacrificing the current season may not sit so well with the club’s fans. Madrid’s current roster is considerably weakened, and Alaba’s arrival has not had too much effect especially given he will slot in for Varane. More worrying for Madrid and Perez is that their competitors have gotten significantly stronger.
The 2021-22 season will be even tougher for Los Blancos and their hopes of wrestling the title back. It might be forgotten if Mbapper comes next summer but till everything is official, nothing is certain. Madrid have their own history of embarrassing transfer failures lest we forget. Perez is putting all his eggs in one basket, and can only hope the gamble pays off.