Opinion: If Real Madrid Wants Mbappé, Vinícius Alone Won’t Be Enough

According to a recent report from Diario AS, Real Madrid is coming around to the idea of including Vinícius Júnior in a potential transfer for Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé.

As we’re all aware, Real Madrid is prepping for an all-out transfer attack next summer for Mbappé (ESPN). They can hardly contain themselves with their manager Zinedine Zidane even professing his love for the player as reported by Diario AS. It comes across as desperate and would put me off as a player but who am I to judge?

The key to this potential transfer, according to the report, is Vinícius Júnior. If you remember, PSG wanted Vinícius included in a deal for Neymar Jr (Diario AS). last summer when Los Blancos expressed interest in signing the former FC Barcelona winger. That idea was immediately shut down by the Spanish giants and talks between the two sides all but ended and Neymar remained in Paris.

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez may be coming around to the idea of allowing Vinícius to leave if it means Mbappé will be coming back the other way. Once highly regarded, the Brazilian has played sparingly this season under Zidane and it’s believed that Real Madrid could live without the 19-year-old.

The report out of Spain also says that PSG sporting director Leonardo highly rates Vinícius and that the Brazilian could at least get the negotiations started between the two clubs. Given Mbappé’s quality, you could see PSG asking for another player or a substantial transfer fee in addition to Vinícius.

So far, Mbappé has refused to negotiate a contract extension with PSG as reported by Telefoot (via Diario AS) and with the Bondy-native’s contract running out in 2022, it’s time for PSG to seriously start thinking of an exit plan if the player decides there is nothing the club can do to keep him and he wants to leave. What you don’t want to happen if your PSG is to lose a generational talent like Mbappé and get nothing in return for him.

Is Vinícius enough though? I understand Leonardo may be in love with him but if PSG sends Mbappé to Real Madrid and bring Vinícius to the French capital, they’re doing the La Liga side two favors. Instead, PSG must request a player that Real Madrid does not want to lose.

I’m thinking Real Madrid needs to be prepared to part ways with Raphaël Varane or Federico Valverde in addition to Vinícius if they want Mbappé. Let’s see how much in love they are with the Frenchman. Or, if Vinícius is the only player Real Madrid is willing to include, PSG must insist on an additional fee that will handcuff Los Merengues from building a juggernaut of a team around Mbappé due to Financial Fair Play.

Real Madrid is a direct UEFA Champions League competitor. PSG cannot send them their best player and take on a player who is very much a project at this point. Vinícius has loads of potential but with Mbappé, you already know he’s going to be one of the world’s best if not the best. As we’ve seen this season with Keylor Navas, Real Madrid was foolish to send him to PSG as the Costa Rican has helped the reigning French champions top Group A in the Champions League over Zidane’s side.

I remain in the camp that Mbappé wants to carve his own legacy at PSG, which is why this season’s Champions League campaign is so important. Paris Saint-Germain must show improvement in the tournament and continue to surround their jewel with talented players. Oh, and a contract extension that pays him as much as Neymar would be helpful, too.

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Tags Champions League Federico Valverde Keylor Navas Kylian Mbappé Leonardo Raphael Varane Real Madrid transfers Vinicius Jr. Zinedine Zidane