Liberté, Égalité, Mbappé...

Everyone is asking the same question: Who will Madrid sign? I'm talking about earth-shattering signings, a category that neither Hazard nor De Bruyne nor anyone except Mbappé or Neymar belong (obviously discounting Messi). Florentino has given glowing praise about Neymar, to the point of incensing Cristiano when he said at Christmas that the Brazilian would easily win the Ballon d'Or at Madrid. But PSG are upping Neymar's salary, not wanting to let him go just a year after signing him and, on the other hand, the World Cup has done his reputation no favours. He turned up in Russia having just recovered from a long-term injury and left it being remembered most for his play-acting nonsense.

Rolling | Brazil's forward Neymar reacts after beeing tackled by Switzerland's midfielder Valon Behrami at the 2018 World Cup.

Mbappé: a good of the state

Mbappé is staying. Florentino had wanted him last summer, the player was willing to come, but in the end he didn't make the move because not one of the bbC left, and he wasn't willing to wait in line. Florentino did not want to lose either Benzema or Bale, his proteges, and Mbappé's preference was PSG, where he'd start. The problem now, journalist Frédéric Hermel tells me, is that he has become something of a state good. A shirt with the caption 'Liberté, Égalité, Mbappé' is causing a storm. A Parisian lad, to boot, he is the pride of the city and of the entire country. "Removing him would be like removing the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre," he told me, half jokingly, half seriously.

Honoured | Kylian Mbappe arrives as French President Emmanuel Macron receives the France football team during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace.

Neymar could escape Mbappé at Madrid

And Florentino is treading very carefully with the Emir of Qatar, as has been seen with those speedy denials (the only times he has done it) when rumours emerge of Madrid making advances with either or the two players. Still, even with all this, there are those who still see the potential of Neymar's arrival, the player who went to Paris to escape Messi, and now finds himself facing similar competition. Mbappé is a world champion, has the Legion of Honor at the age of 19, and has his eyes set on the Ballon d'Or... Who knows, maybe Neymar will consider that the best space for him is at Madrid. The bad thing is the show he put on at the World Cup.