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When you are back-to-back European Champions it is very difficult to pick a point in your team which needs improvement and thus for the second consecutive summer Real Madrid are living through a rather uncharacteristically quiet transfer window.
Whist he was recently elected unopposed to serve a fifth term, Florentino Perez is presiding over a period of stability in the Spanish capital at this moment with Zinedine Zidane having steadied the ship totally since arriving at the club, instilling a incredibly industrious mentality within a supremely talented group of players.
Success has followed and there hasn’t been need to spend lavishly in the transfer market as the club has done over the course of the past decade.
Of course it must be accepted that the majority of the team that is at the pinnacle of the European game at this moment was of course expensively assembled in previous windows before the French coach’s arrival.
Alvaro Morata was the club’s only significant acquisition last summer and that was due to a clause in his contract with Juventus that allowed Los Blancos to sign him back for a fee way below his perceived market value.
The intention was to immediately sell him on but he was kept due to both a lack of concrete offers and to boost the depth at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Morata is likely to leave this summer after his most successful ever season in terms of goals as a professional. Manchester United are his first choice and a deal to take him to Old Trafford will likely be completed by mid-July once the two clubs meet in the middle of their valuations of £64 million and £78 million respectively.
This leaves Zidane in somewhat of a bind with the club needing to replace Morata but not actually needing a truly world class attacker to take his place.
As a result the club are believed to be looking at just one option in particular and it is a player who is very much the future but has also shown he can excel in the present.
Battling for Mbappe
Monaco’s starlet Kylian Mbappe is probably the most sought after player in the world at this moment, everybody wants him yet few can have him.
The French club are determined to take advantage of the quite ludicrously inflated market and receive a fee that leaves the £89 million paid for Paul Pogba last summer in its dust.
£135 million would be enough to make Monaco sell their prized asset and it seems only Real Madrid are willing to reach such a figure with Zidane known to be a huge fan of the teenager.
Now many will suggest that a move to a club that is already stacked with attacking talent would be damaging for Mbappe’s development but in actual fact this isn’t the case. Karim Benzema remains the club’s outright central striker whilst Cristiano Ronaldo is allowed to drift into that role mid-match.
Benzema’s consistency has been a real issue over the last 12 months or so and despite his loyalty to the club and his popularity amongst staff it is clear that his days as first-choice are numbered.
Much needed youthful injection
Mbappe is exactly the sought of livewire who would come in and instantly fight for his fellow countryman’s shirt and in all likelihood he would quite easily win it.
Everything the French teenager does is made to look so easy despite being attempted at a frighteningly quick pace.
People have been looking for the next Thierry Henry for years and in Mbappe there is the closest representation of the forward in terms of his skill-set and coolness in front of goal.
It is no secret that those in Madrid are aware of the ageing nature of their forward line. Ronaldo is 32, Benzema is 29 whilst Gareth Bale is just a little younger at 27. At just 18, Mbappe’s arrival would inject some much needed youth into the team.
This is precisely why Real Madrid are prepared to play the waiting game for his signature this summer. The club are aware they don’t desperately need a forward and that another year in Ligue 1 with Monaco may do Mbappe’s development even more good, however ideally Los Blancos would like to make this their statement signing of the summer.
No problem dragging the deal on
Florentino Perez recently commented in an interview with Onda Cero that he enjoys transfer deals that drag on throughout the window, “I like the market right up until August 31,” he explained and this is something that could happen in their pursuit of the Frenchman.
It is clear Mbappe only really wants to join the famous Spanish club and the club are aware of that, Zidane would like to have him in his team for next season and whilst Ronaldo and co remain present there won’t be the pressure on him to lead the line immediately, although this is something he could quite quickly take to in truth.
Under no pressure
Real Madrid aren’t under any pressure, they know the one player they want to sign this summer and they know no club is really able to challenge them on this front.
Obviously Manchester United can offer more money than them, but it has become abundantly clear that the North West of England is not high on Mbappe’s focus.
As a result, there is a degree of comfort in allowing this to drag on with it likely the Spanish giants will make their move later in the window and it would be a move that could help keep the club at the very top for a long time to come.
Written by Chris Winterburn
Follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4
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