Real Madrid: Is Leonardo right about Kylian Mbappé’s affordability?

Kylian Mbappe (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)
Kylian Mbappe (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid are still competitive in three competitions this season, but the fanbase is understandably already keeping one eye fixed on possible 2021 summer transfers. It’s obvious that the team needs one more attacking star to really compete at the highest level of the Champions League, and thus Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé have become the focal points of attention for Madridistas.

Mbappé is still the favored target, though there has been less optimism about signing him this season than in the previous season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on football clubs and Mbappé’s potential desire to stay in Paris with Neymar and Mauricio Pochettino, Madridistas are more aware of the possibility the club cannot sign its ultimate Galactico.

Recently, PSG sporting director Leonardo had more to say about Mbappé’s affordability to other European clubs, succinctly stating that he does not think anyone can pay either player’s salary in the current economic climate.

Here’s what Leonardo told France Football, via Andrés Onrubia of AS:

"“Choosing between Neymar or Mbappé for next season? It is true that the situation is very complicated, but if PSG does not have the means right now to be able to keep its two stars, then which club has the financial means to pay the salary of either player? I don’t think there is any club.”"

PSG do have the kind of financial power even Real Madrid cannot match

PSG have the most financial power of any club in the world, so that is not a far-fetched statement from Leonardo. Madridistas themselves have been worried for months about Real Madrid’s ability to pay Kylian Mbappé’s salary, because the forward will deserve a contract that shatters even Serigo Ramos’ as the current top-earner in Madrid. Because that is the price it takes to sign a young, versatile, and world-class goal-scorer.

There is still time for Real Madrid to save money, which is their next big task. They will need to make sales in order to keep saving up for Mbappé, and they did get a head start by making sales without any signings in the 2020 summer transfer window.

Leonardo cannot know everything about Real’s situation, but his points are important for Madridistas to consider. Affording Mbappé’s wages will be tough, and then there is the matter of the fee to PSG if Real were to try to sign him in 2021. PSG won’t take any discounts, and throwing in another player may not be enough to convince the Parisians to drop the price sufficiently.

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But the main person Real have to convince is Mbappé, who holds all the cards. If he wants to go to Real, the ball is in his court to hold off until signing with them in 2022 when wages will become an even bigger topic of discussion within the walls of the so-called White House.