Florentino Pérez, the Real Madrid president, has always had public opinion in mind when it comes to making signings. Madrid fans only have eyes for Kylian Mbappe at the moment, but Perez is also having to consider the club's financial situation this time due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's left him with a dilemma: go big on Mbappe in the summer or focus on making an effort to sign the Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.
Madrid's main problem is Paris Saint-Germain's reluctance to negotiate the sale of Mbappe, even though he's into the final two years of his contract. They have proved inflexible when it comes to talking about the France international.
The only ace Perez has up his sleeve is that Mbappe has so far refused to extend with PSG. But between now and 2022 many things can happen and the French club will put pressure on him. Owner Al-Khelaïfi has 20 months to convince him to renew his contract. On a financial level, the club have a state behind them so are at an advantage when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. In contrast, Madrid are having to find quick fixes to balance the books, with income reduced, like Barcelona.
Mbappe, 22, wants to take a step forward in his career and the Bernabeu seems the logical next step. He wants to work under his idol, compatriot Zinedine Zidane, but as things are nothing can be guaranteed.
With all that in mind, Perez has an alternative on the table: Borussia Dortmund's Haaland. Even though he would like to sign them both, the Madrid president is aware of the current financial limitations and at the moment is only contemplating one big signing.
Haaland has shown his appetite for goals over the last year. He has 21 goals in 24 games since joining Dortmund in January. For that reason, his value has shot up. Although he's believed to have a release clause of around 75 million euros. The problem, once again, is that Dortmund won't want to sell. Perez will have to be persuasive.