Mbappé: Real Madrid in pole position to sign PSG striker

Posted by Rui Tyler on 16-10-20 (08:01)
Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez is handling the matter personally, given the transfer's importance to the Spanish club's future plans.

As their bid to sign Kylian Mbappé next summer approaches its crucial phase, Real Madrid remain in pole position to secure the services of the Paris Saint-Germain and France star.

Pérez working hard to make Mbappé Real Madrid move happen

Given that signing Mbappé is a crucial part of the club’s plans and will only happen if no mistakes are made on the way, Madrid president Florentino Pérez is handling the issue personally. It’s a deal that will require the utmost diplomacy, as the key to transfer is not in Paris, but in Doha.

Pérez has been treading carefully in his dealings with PSG’s Qatari owners for a few years now, allowing him to steal a march on his competitors in the battle for Mbappé’s signature. On top of that, the 21-year-old idolises Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, a figure he sees as a mentor.

Barcelona presidential candidate makes Mbappé contact
But as Mbappé prepares to head into the final 18 months of his contract at PSG, who have tried and failed to get him to sign a new, five-year deal worth 150m euros after tax, his list of suitors is growing. The latest interest in the player has come from Barcelona presidential candidate Víctor Font, who is keen to steal the star from under Madrid’s noses.

Mbappé only has eyes for Real Madrid and Zidane
Having made contact with Mbappé’s camp, however, Font has been left in no doubt that the footballer only has eyes for Madrid and Zidane, and has been eager to play for Los Blancos ever since meeting the club’s now coach when he spent a week training at Valdebebas as a 13-year-old.

In February, Mbappé remembered the moment in an open letter in The Players’ Tribune that was a declaration of love for Madrid and Zidane. “Right before my 14th birthday, I got an incredible surprise. My father received a call from someone at Real Madrid, inviting me to come to Spain for a training session over the holiday break. It was a shock, because they actually told my father, ‘Zidane would like to see your son.’ At the time, Zizou was the sporting director. Of course, I was over the moon. I was desperate to go [...].

“I will never forget the moment that we arrived at the training center from the airport,” Mbappé wrote. “Zidane met us in the parking lot by his car, and it was a really nice car, of course. We said hello, and then he offered to drive me over to the field for training. He was pointing at the front seat, like, ‘Go on, get in.’

“But I just froze and I asked, ‘Should I take off my shoes?’ Hahaha! I don’t know why I said that. But it was Zizou’s car! He thought that was really funny. He said, ‘Of course not, come on, get in.’ He drove me to the training pitch, and I was just thinking to myself, I am in Zizou’s car. I am Kylian from Bondy. This is not real. I must still be sleeping on the airplane. Sometimes, even when you are really living something, it feels like a dream."
Klopp keen to take Mbappé to Liverpool
As well as Font, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is also eyeing the Frenchman. Though he is well aware that he cannot compete with the pull of working with Zidane, the Anfield boss has designs on luring the player to the Premier League champions.

Since writing his declaration of intentions in The Players’ Tribune, Mbappé has been taking the necessary steps towards making a Madrid move happen. Some public, such his nods to Bernabéu legends on social media; others private, and of no little significance. One is his decision to hire Delphine Verheyden, a leading sports lawyer who is known in Paris as the ‘Iron Lady’ and is slated for a key role in taking Mbappé to Spain.

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