Rodrigo Faez of ESPN reports that Real Madrid want to get a deal done with PSG for Kylian Mbappe this week. If everything goes to plan, they hope to announce his arrival by the second week of August and have him in time for La Liga.
For a while, it was believed that Los Blancos were not going to sign the French phenom this summer. With Mbappe unwilling to compromise on the bonuses owed to him by PSG, a move was only seen as possible in 2024.
Moreover, Real Madrid have maintained a low profile on the front of Mbappe’s transfer in recent weeks. However, things appear to be picking up pace in the background, with the latest report suggesting a transfer may very well be close..
PSG are preparing without Mbappe
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi did not hesitate to omit the winger’s name from PSG’s pre-season squad travelling to Asia earlier this month and it is clear that the French side are preparing for life without him.
The Parisian giants are now close to signing Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele and likely see him as a replacement for Mbappe.
With the doors back into Luis Enrique’s side looking shut, an immediate move to the Santiago Bernabeu would appear to be Mbappe’s only option.
A strong position
Real Madrid find themselves to be in a position of strength, for it is PSG who are under pressure to sell the star.
Their potential return from his sale continues to fall with every passing day, and Real Madrid could thus end up getting their target for a budget deal.
Mbappe will entertain no name other than Real Madrid, and the Parisiens will likely be left to choose between losing him on a free transfer next summer or a budget fee this time around.
In either case, Los Blancos stand to benefit massively and the hope is that the deal could be concluded by the second week of August, ideally before the La Liga campaign kicks off.
Zinedine Zidane returning to Real Madrid next season is a possibility – report
As Carlo Ancelotti nears the expiry of his contract at Real Madrid, the search for a potential successor for the Italian tactician is starting to heat up.
The 64-year-old manager has been coy on his future, although reports suggest that he would be open to signing a new deal if offered.
At the same time, though, he is said to be taking over the reins of the Brazilian national team starting from the Copa America next summer.
Amidst this, several names have been linked with the managerial hotseat at Real Madrid for 2024.
Zinedine Zidane a possible candidate
And now, a report from France Bleu, there is a possibility that former manager and club legend Zinedine Zidane could return to Real Madrid to replace Ancelotti.
The iconic former midfielder has already had two stints as the manager of the Merengues, tasting great success in each of his spells.
Zidane stepped away from the role in 2021 due to some issues with the club hierarchy, although the relationship is understood to have been mended by now.
The former French international has already turned down approaches from the likes of Saudi Arabia and Brazil while he has also rejected a chance to coach Olympique Marseille.
Zidane would be open to managing Marseille if there is a change in ownership at the club, but at the same time, his return to Real Madrid is also a possibility.
Xabi Alonso the favourite
Despite there being a chance of Zidane returning, the report adds that at the moment it is another former Real Madrid midfielder, Xabi Alonso, who is the favourite to replace Ancelotti.
The current Bayer Leverkusen boss has done exceptionally well at the Bundesliga club over the past ten months or so, and has seemingly made a big impression on the Madrid hierarchy.
As such, Alonso continues to be the frontrunner for the managerial position at the Santiago Bernabeu should Ancelotti step down.
There are other interesting names in the mix as well, including Brighton & Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi, although it appears like a long shot at this moment.