Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappé: Real Madrid’s conundrum

As reported by Sergio López de Vicente of AS, despite the signing of the young Brazilian star Endrick (17), who will arrive at the club next summer from Palmeiras, the signing of a striker remains a non-negotiable for Real Madrid.

Endrick will certainly need time to adapt, and a team like Madrid needs immediate results. The two obvious options, of course, are Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé (24) and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (23). However, an inevitable scepticism is present at the club, given the difficulties they encountered in trying to sign Mbappé last summer. 

With Mbappé’s contract set to expire on July 30, Real Madrid could land the Frenchman for free, although they will likely have to pay a signing bonus. However, the question remains of whether the World Cup Winner will choose to sign a contract extension, the answer to which only Mbappé himself knows.

Real Madrid will not want a repeat of last summer in which Mbappé announced he would not renew his contract, consequently leading him to be forced to train with the reserves until, after weeks of turmoil, a resolution was found and Mbappé returned to the first team.

Real Madrid’s hopes of potentially signing Mbappé on the cheap were consequently dashed. Mbappé has had a difficult start to the season, going four matches without a goal and being heavily criticised for his performance against Newcastle in the Champions League group stage. Despite his seemingly bad start, the striker has still racked up nine goals in 10 games, impressive numbers given he is considered to be having a run of poor form.

The potential arrival of Haaland to Los Blancos has always been more unlikely. The Norwegian striker signed with City until 2027, and there are no signs that he wishes to leave last season’s treble winners. However, things may change in 2024 when a release clause in Haaland’s contract becomes active, which amounts to around €200 million for clubs outside of the Premier League.

Haaland is also going through a rough patch in form, in part due to the absence of playmaker Kevin De Bruyne (32), who is out injured. However, like Mbappé, even in so-called poor form, the Ballon d’Or candidate has racked up nine goals in 13 matches.

It thus remains to be seen who Real Madrid will go all out for in the summer of 2024. 

GSFN | Finn Entwistle

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