Real Madrid have made a € 160m (£ 137m) offer to sign Paris St-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe.
The 22-year-old French world champion joined PSG in 2017 on a £ 165.7m transfer and his contract expires in June 2022.
Mbappe has scored 133 goals in 174 games for PSG and has won three Ligue 1 titles and three French cups.
Real, who lost 300 million euros in sales due to Covid-19, only signed defender David Alaba on a free transfer from Bayern Munich this summer.
However, that summer Sergio Ramos went to PSG for free while another high earner Raphael Varane was sold to Manchester United for £ 34m and Martin Odegaard joined Arsenal for around £ 30m.
Real obviously feels sufficiently secure about its finances to turn to one of the highest rated players in the world.
It is not known how the fee is structured.
PSG who have not yet responded to the offer, signed Argentine striker Lionel Messi Earlier this month after leaving Barcelona.
If Real is successful, it could trigger a series of deals before the transfer deadline.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Juventus is known to be uncertain and PSG are believed to be interested in the Portuguese, raising the intriguing possibility of a connection with Messi, his rival for the world’s best player for more than a decade.
Manchester City are among the clubs that Ronaldo has been offered but are not believed to be interested in a deal.
Last week both Ronaldo and Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri denied the striker wanted to leave.
Can Real Afford That?
The transfer window last summer was the first time since 1980 that Real waived a signing.
Los Blancos haven’t spent much on signings since the summer of 2019 more than £ 300 million for players led by Eden Hazard’s arrival from Chelsea.
In addition to the high profile departures this summer, they sold Sergio Reguilon to Tottenham for £ 27m and Achraf Hakimi to Inter Milan for £ 36m last year.
In its 2020-21 balance sheet published in July, Real said: “Current projections suggest that a pre-pandemic recovery will not happen immediately, so the club will continue its cost-containment efforts so far.”
They are also currently renovating their Bernabeu stadium with a loan of 575 million euros.
In January 2021, their gross debts were up at a reported 901 million euros.
“The deal confuses people”
The French football journalist Robin Bairner about BBC Radio 5 live
(How this deal works) is puzzling people in France right now, both in terms of how PSG can turn down such a large offer for a player out of the contract in less than 12 months and how a club like Real Madrid, they are so deeply in debt they can afford to spend so much money.
We don’t know how the deal is structured; There was no indication, certainly from a French point of view, how Real intends to pay this 160 million euros, whether it is 80 million in advance and 80 million bonuses, that is not clear.
I certainly don’t think anyone expects them to pay 160 million upfront and, of course, to pay Mbappe’s wages, which are more than half a million euros a week.
For PSG, prestige is more important than money for their owners, from Qatar, of course. Mbappe is one of their most prestigious assets; He’s the guy they really don’t want to lose and it’s a fight PSG aren’t used to losing. They were usually able to buy anyone they wanted and Mbappe is obviously resisting. It is a somewhat strange situation for them in the 10 years that they have been in charge.
As I understand it, PSG had no interest in signing Cristiano Ronaldo.
They wanted to keep Mbappe, although their stance on Mbappe seems to have eased a bit in the last few days, at least behind the scenes, if not publicly.
You are looking for other alternatives; Everton’s Richarlison was mentioned as one of them. It just seems impossible that they would sign Ronaldo at the helm of Mbappe just because of the salaries he commands, but PSG are a club that sometimes it doesn’t matter. If they get 160m for Mbappe it might be possible to sign Ronaldo for a couple of years.