With each passing day, the Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid operation appears to be picking up steam as the 25-year-old gets closer and closer to the expiry of his contract at PSG.
Recent reports have suggested that Los Blancos are very confident about signing their top target this summer and even have a roadmap laid out to complete the deal in the days to come.
However, not everything is agreed between the two teams and a fresh update from journalist Andres Onrubia via Cadena SER suggests that the financial aspect of the operation still needs to be completely resolved.
Mbappe’s financial demands
Even though Mbappe would be arriving as a free agent, the operation will not be easy on the pockets for Real Madrid for the Frenchman is asking for hefty wages and a mega signing bonus.
Indeed, as per the aforementioned report from Cadena SER, Mbappe wants to be one of the highest-paid players in Europe and that is why he is asking for a total gross salary of €50 million per season.
On top of that, the Frenchman is also asking for a hefty signing bonus worth €120 million.
These figures are way beyond what Real Madrid would be prepared to offer, with reports suggesting that Los Blancos are proposing a €15 million salary and a €60 million joining bonus.
Beyond the salary and signing bonus demands, Mbappe also wants additional bonuses, mainly in terms of image rights.
PSG, for their part, have still not thrown in the towel and have a contract renewal offer ready for Mbappe, which would see him continue on the €72 million per season gross wages he currently earns, along with a €130 million signing bonus.
So, at this point, a decision has still not been made, but Andres Onrubia mentions that the saga is unlikely to drag on until May and a resolution could be reached at much sooner.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.