The negotiations between Real Madrid and Monaco for the transfer of Kylian Mbappe have slowed down during the last week although Los Blancos remain optimistic a deal can be done, however Gareth Bale will have to leave before the Frenchman can arrive as Zinedine Zidane doesn’t believe Mbappe and the entire BBC are compatible.
Monaco want more
In mid-July, at a meeting between Florentino Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez, Dmitri Rybolovlev and Vadim Vasilyev, president and vice-president of Monaco, the Ligue 1 team established a starting point of 190 million euros to negotiate the sale of their promising star.
The amount corresponds with the Neymar clause that both Real and PSG valued paying the previous summer (192m euros).
Madrid told Monaco they wanted to play a slightly lower figure adding more variables.
In the range of 150m euros + 30m in variables or 160 + 20, both clubs were willing to find an intermediate meeting point to formalise the transfer, pending to agree all the details in a later conversation.
The agreement was not completely tied up but it is very close from both sides point of view.
25 million for the Ballon d’Or
After seeing Paris Saint-Germain are going to pay Neymar’s 222 million euro clause, the owners of Monaco are trying to squeeze Real a bit more.
For example, if Mbappe wins the Ballon d’Or whilst at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Monaco want Madrid to pay a bonus of 25m euros.
That’s too excessive according to those in power in the Spanish capital.
Zidane does not want four
However, the main reason why Madrid has not intensified the negotiation has been not so much because of the economic demands of Monaco, as the sporting guidelines of Zidane.
In the final meeting that the coach had with Florentino and Jose Angel Sanchez in Los Angeles, the Frenchman ratified that he stands firm in his original idea regarding the strikers.
Despite having lost Alvaro Morata, Zidane does not want four attackers; Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema and Mbappe, in his squad.
Considering that managing the allocation of minutes between them would cause excessive conflict, it would also affect the opportunities of players called to play an important role, such as Asensio or Isco.
For Zidane, the good atmosphere in the squad is fundamental to achieving his goals.
That’s why James was allowed to leave.
Bale is odd man out
This approach is not new, as the French coach transferred those thoughts to the president at the first meeting to plan the season, which was held before playing the Champions League final in Cardiff.
That day Zidane made clear his position: if the club intends to incorporate Mbappe, a footballer with huge potential that he knows well, that he loves and fits the profile of the club, then one of the members of BBC has to go.
Bale’s injury problems mean that he is the chosen one.
With the Welshman making way, this would solve the reticence of the promising Monaco striker.
He has doubts about having enough minutes if he has to compete with a full BBC complement, but his preference is clearly to join Real Madrid – he’s had a verbal agreement with the club for weeks.
The Premier League will take him
So, Madrid have set a price close to 100 million euros for Bale and have begun to discreetly probe the Premier League market.
Manchester United is the club that has shown most interest in signing him, although Chelsea also seem interested.
The player, meanwhile, made it clear in a recent interview that his desire was to succeed at the Bernabeu.
But the truth is that the situation is changing and Bale has begun to accept the possibility of returning to English football, aware that the numerous injuries suffered have prevented him from performing regularly during the four seasons in which has been at Madrid.
With Bale open to a move back to England, once talks have opened, Real will then start undertake the final negotiations with Monaco.
The other two teams who bid for the great sensation of last season are out of the equation now.
PSG will sign Neymar and Manchester City are withdrawing any interest after spending more than 250m euros already in this window.
It remains to be seen whether Barcelona could join the fight to sign Mbappe, an option that should not be ruled out.
Although all indications point to the Catalans targeting Ousmane Dembele as their main objective.
Meanwhile, Monaco has known for several days the intention of young Kylian to leave the club this summer, to probably sign for Real Madrid.
But Gareth Bale must leave for that to happen, and as Zidane has cryptically recalled every time he’s been asked about Mbappe, “by August 31, everything can happen.”