Real Madrid president Florentino Perez faces a stressful few weeks before the transfer window closes if he wants to have Kylian Mbappe in his squad.
With Lionel Messi's arrival, Real are confident Paris Saint-Germain can be brought to the negotiating table. Talks over a contract extension have stalled and PSG may prefer to cash in on the 22-year-old forward now rather than risk losing him for free next summer.
Messi has agreed a two-year deal worth a reported €30m-a-year, which makes him PSG's top earner, above Neymar and Mbappe. Those salaries combined would almost certainly put PSG in breach of Financial Fair Play rules, meaning something has to give.
A big point in Real Madrid's favour.
Mbappe has done his part. The French World Cup winner informed his coach, Mauricio Pochettino, he would not renew his contract, which expires in June 2022.
But that was before Messi's extraordinary press conference on Sunday in which he announced he would no longer continue at Barca. Maybe Mbappe has had a change of heart?
PSG would demand a high price for Mbappe, looking to recoup the €140 million and more they paid Monaco for him three years ago. They may decide to balance their books by offloading others and line up with a trident of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe.
Real Madrid have their own problems. The Spanish giants have faced huge financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic and finished last season without any trophies. The €500m refurbishment of the Bernabeu has also significantly drained resources.
That means any money to sign Mbappe will have to be funded from player sales. Raphael Varane is set to join Manchester United for £34 million while the club are open to offers for Dani Ceballos, Luka Jovic, Martin Odegaard and Vinicius Jr.
Signing Mbappe would also strike another significant blow to bitter rivals Barcelona. Reports in Spain suggest it was Perez who persuaded Barca counterpart Joan Laporta to reject the proposal by investment firm CVC for a 10 per cent stake in La Liga.
Barca could have used their slice of the €2.7 billion deal to keep Messi, but Laporta was unwilling to give up Barca's TV rights.
It could represent a spectacular own goal for Laporta: Messi leaves for free, Mbappe joins title rivals Real and Barca miss out on millions on investment after the collapse of the CVC agreement.