Real Madrid appear destined to be linked with Kylian Mbappe almost until the end of his career. Three times Los Blancos have attempted to bring the French superstar in. Once as a teenager in the Monaco academy, again as a teenager before he moved to Paris Saint-Germain, and finally last summer, before he signed a new deal with PSG. Despite his regular claims that he loves Real Madrid and that it would be a dream to play there, he still hasn’t made a deal happen.
The backlash against Mbappe after he turnedReal Madrid down was gruesome. Some of it crossing the line, but many claiming that Mbappe would never be accepted at Real Madrid after such a public humiliation.
It did not take long for the cogs to start turning though. By September, there were already widespread claims that Mbappe was unhappy at PSG and was considering a move. That noise appears to have calmed down, but slowly a drift of reports have come back into circulation about Los Blancos considering another move for him, either shortly or down the line.
The latest of which dealt with the prospect of him actually arriving. Todofichajes say that one of Rodrygo Goes or Vinicius Junior would be a casualty of any such move. Vinicius would either have to move flanks across to the right, pushing Rodrygo out of contention for a starting spot, or accept his own exit.
One of the reasons Mbappe is supposedly frustrated in Paris is that he has been used a number nine by Christophe Galtier. Not wanting to play with his back to goal, Mbappe prefers to have the freedom to move off the left flank, as he does for France.
This would obviously interfere with Vinicius, who operates almost exclusively off the left. Given how much damage he has done in recent seasons off that side, cutting in with his right, it seems unlikely he would be willing to denature his game so dramatically by moving to the right. Equally, it would be a poor use of resources.
Karim Benzema looks set to continue for another season at least, which would negate the option of going through the middle anyway.
While Mbappe is no doubt a better player, sacrificing Vinicius, arguably their best this season, is still a high price to pay. Rodrygo, while enormously talented, is not yet at the level of the others. Were it not for his ability to play across the front line, then he would be the obvious choice to leave.
Having won the Ballon d’Or and given most of his career to Los Blancos, it is highly unlikely Benzema would leave or be forced out by Florentino Perez. However perhaps it is the move that makes the most sense. Perhaps an a-symmetrical system could be fashioned out of the other three, with Rodrygo the furthest forward, Vinicius on the left and Mbappe roaming. Carlo Ancelotti in particular has a talent for fitting his best players into the starting XI.
The French veteran is maybe the least likely to be pushed out, but perhaps makes the most sense long-term. Rodrygo seems the most likely to face the consequences or accept a reduced a role, while Vinicius is theoretically the least compatible with Mbappe. If anything, it makes more sense to wait another year, depending on how much faith they have in Benzema maintaining his level.