Real Madrid are banking on the sentimentality of pulling on the famous white shirt to give them the edge in their bid to land Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe, in lieu of any financial incentive.
Haaland and Mbappe are two of world football's most in-demand players, having set both the Champions League and their respective domestic divisions alight in recent seasons despite their tender years.
Real have long had a reputation for spending big to recruit the world's very best talent, and they have been linked with move for either one of the pair in the summer of 2021.
Always ready... are you? ?? pic.twitter.com/fWr126RaRR— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) March 16, 2021
However, Real are not the financial powerhouse they once were. Like rivals Barcelona, a substantial lump of the club's income comes from tourism, and as a result they have been hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic. In January, players and executives agreed to another 10% pay cut in order to deal with the financial impact of Covid-19.
According to Marca, Los Blancos are not going to let any financial concerns hold them back in their pursuit of either Haaland or Mbappe. Real acknowledge that while they will not be able to offer the same lucrative terms as some of their European rivals, they are hopeful that the desire to play for a club with their prestigious reputation could provide them with an 'emotional edge'.
Mbappe currently pockets €25m-per-year at PSG, and the French outfit would also demand a fee in excess of £100m if they are to part ways with the forward.
His PSG contract expires in the summer of 2022, and 90min reported at the beginning of March that president Florentino Perez has been plotting a move for the French international for over two years. Liverpool have also been linked with a move for Mbappe - but recent reports in France cast doubts over whether either side would be able to viably finance a move for him.
Haaland's Borussia Dortmund contract expires in 2024, and he's only been at the club for just over a year after moving from Salzburg. He has been strongly linked with Chelsea and Manchester City, owing to a release clause that comes into effect in the summer of 2022.