REAL MADRID

Real Madrid 2021: Camavinga, Upamecano, Mbappé...

With the transfer market in crisis, Real Madrid have managed to maintain their strategy for the future. Camavinga, Upamecano and Mbappé are lined up for next year.

Real Madrid 2021: Camavinga, Upamecano, Mbappé...

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected the transfer market and Real Madrid have put on hold any plans they had for 2020 until 2021. Circumstances are actually in their favour. Curiously, the crisis has allowed the core of transfer targets Madrid had in mind for this year to remain accessible in the not too distant future. Madrid hope to bring in a central defender, a midfielder and a star forward. Upamecano extended his contract by just one year with Red Bull Leipzig so that he will be available next summer, Camavinga has delayed his expected departure from Rennes until 2021 and the jewel in the crown, Mbappé could be the third player to arrive next year...

Key 12 months ahead in Madrid's plan to land Mbappé

The saga involving Madrid and Mbappé is set to become more intense as the present season progresses. The striker has not renewed his contract with PSG (which expires in 2022), he has continually flirted with Madrid and continues without having won the Champions League despite all of the investment his club has made in recent years. It ended with Kylian in tears in Lisbon after defeat to Bayern, a club which, like Real Madrid have a strong tradition in European football. Madrid will not put pressure on PSG, with whom they enjoy a close relationship, but nor do they really need to - it is an issue between the player and his club and as things stand, there is a gulf of difference between PSG's wishes and Mbappé's...

For Real Madrid, 2020 will be about restructuring the team (Martin Ødegaard has been brought back, the club hopes to raises funds by selling players and lower the wage bill by finding new clubs for high earners like James) and Mbappé is one of the few players in the game at the moment who is capable of delivering out on the pitch and generating revenue for his club. That, along with the advances being made with the new stadium, means that the timing will be just right in 2021 for a new Madrid - one which has been redesigned to function out on the pitch as a well as commercially.

Camavinga and Upamecano

France continues to produce emerging talents and that is great news for Zidane, who is well informed about all of the young stars who are making a name for themselves in his homeland. A few months ago, he set his sights on Eduardo Camavinga and Dayot Upamecano - two players who have already been noticed by France coach Didier Deschamps. Both of them fulfill all of the requirements which Zidane considers to be basic. With Upa, an admirer of Sergio Ramos since childhood, he would be perfect for the role of third central defender and offer direct competition for Militao. Camavinga's case is more urgent because PSG and Bayern have both started to circle; for Madrid, he is seen as an alternative to Casemiro - a role which no member of the current squad (Kroos, Valverde, Isco, Modric...) have been able to fill with any consistency.

All three operations are accessible for Madrid. Camavinga hasn't renewed with Rennes and although playing in the Champions League this season will doubtless elevate his profile, his close circle have told AS that Rennes will be willing to let him leave in 2021 for 40 million euros. Upamecano would command a similar fee. He renewed terms with Leipzig until 2023 but at the same time, his buy-out clause dropped from 60M to 45M, which implies that he has arranged some kind of release agreement. He has even admitted as much publicly. "I spoke to several clubs this summer," he told reporters on arrival for international duty with France last week. But as with Camavinga, PSG and Bayern also have a strong interest in Upamecano. Madrid's Plan B is another French centre-back Benoit Badiashile, as reported by this newspaper and he too would be accessible by the time 2021 comes around. Monaco recently turned down Manchester United's 25M bid for the defender.

For 2022, the name at the top of Madrid's wish list is Erling Haaland. But before that, the club has to compete the first stage of their redesign with Real Madrid 2021.