6 players Real Madrid should target if Kylian Mbappe does stay with PSG

Real Madrid transfer target Christopher Nkunku (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid transfer target Christopher Nkunku (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Atletico Madrid, Joao Felix (Photo by Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images)
Atletico Madrid, Joao Felix (Photo by Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images) /

It’s finally here, the day all Madrid and football fans have been waiting for. Kylian Mbappe is finally announcing his decision to stay at PSG or leave for his childhood dream of playing for Real Madrid this summer.

This saga has felt like it’s been going on a lifetime for Real Madrid fans, and honestly, I’m sure all parties will be relieved to know what his next step will be so that they can appropriately make their next moves heading into the transfer window.

I’m sure anyone who loves Los Blancos is hoping that the Frenchman will finally take the leap and lead the new generation of Real Madrid stars, but the reality is, he may very well stay in the French capital for another two years.

For whatever reasons, whether financial or personal, Mbappe has had some forces in play that are making him lean towards staying for a bit longer, and Real Madrid needs to be prepared to be disappointed yet again, but more importantly, be ready to build around a squad that is currently in the Champions League final.

So given his imminent decision, let’s look at a couple of attacking options that will either, A, be an immediate replacement signing that could have a similar impact in the current and future setups at Madrid, or B, are potential stopgaps until the next Mbappe saga rolls around.

Again, the following are attacking options that can supplement our forward line. Although Monaco’s Aurélien Tchouaméni should be a priority, he’s not going to be mentioned in this piece based on position. Many of these alternatives have varying price tags based on form, age, contracts, etc., but considering what Madrid would splash on Mbappe, it’s within their realm.


Atletico Madrid FW Joao Felix (Contract expires 2026)

One of my favorites on the list has to be Atletico Madrid’s leading man, Joao Felix. Although a move for the Portuguese target man would be a challenging task, I believe his profile suits what Real Madrid is looking for in a forward.

Currently only 22 years old, Felix has been a revelation this year at Atletico Madrid after a stuttering start to life in Spain.

Although his number of goals this season (8 in La Liga, ten across all competitions) aren’t up to par with the likes of Karim Benzema (44) or Vinicius Jr. (21), that is more likely because of the defensive style of play that manager Diego Simeone plays week to week and because Felix has dealt with a few knocks during his time in La Liga.

When he is fully fit and is comfortable in attack, you can see why Atletico paid such a high fee for the young talent from Benfica.

He can play on the left, as a center forward, or behind the striker, is comfortable with both feet and is one of the most technically gifted footballers in La Liga, and has the potential to become one of the best players in the world.

He reads open play very well, understands when to be flashy with his abilities and when to keep it simple to create the most of situations in a match, and draws a ton of attention (2.1 fouls per game), which Vinicius can relate to.

He’s so intelligent on the ball, which is the most impressive thing for me because although he’s not the fastest, his IQ on the pitch allows the game to slow down for him and see where he needs to adjust at a given moment.

These characteristics may not be the flashiest or the most convincing to some but do fall right under what many great Madrid players have in their DNA, and I feel he’s someone who’d thrive in Madrid’s locker room and would have more opportunities to increase his score tally.

As mentioned before, because of his current outfit, I don’t believe we’ll be able to see his full potential or even prize him away from Los Rojiblancos (contract expires in 2026), but it’s nice to think about.