How Ronaldo will help Real Madrid land Mbappe and Haaland

Robin Bairner
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Juventus, Real Madrid 2017/18

Real Madrid are in pole position to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain and Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund next summer in part due to Cristiano Ronaldo but mainly due to a patient approach to working the transfer market.

When Madrid sold Ronaldo in 2018 to Juventus for €100 million, they did not try to sign an immediate replacement. Instead, Vinicius Jr was added from Flamengo for less than half the price of the sale of CR7, typifying the long-term thinking of president Florentino Perez.

While Los Blancos have reaped the reward this season with a wage cap of €739m – more than seven times that of Barcelona – it will be next summer that they can really start to benefit.

Mbappe is expected to arrive on a free transfer from PSG, while Madrid are also prominent in the multi-club race for Haaland.

How can Madrid afford Mbappe and Haaland?

Sales of big players have been the driving force behind their push for the two superstars. Achraf Hakimi, Raphael Varane and Martin Odegaard have also been offloaded for significant fees in recent times.

Perhaps the most important element to this, as highlighted by AS, is that massive wages have been freed up by these players departing. Added to that list is legendary centre-back Sergio Ramos, whose €12m-per-year wages were lost this summer when he left for PSG at the end of his contract.

Haaland, Mbappe

Meanwhile, little transfer business has been done with regards players coming into their squad. Eden Hazard is the most notable transfer addition of the post-Ronaldo era, and while he has struggled to live up to his massive €100m fee, his wages do not come close to the same bracket as the Portuguese.

Crucially, at the end of the present campaign, they are set to shed more leading earners who are no longer value for money. Gareth Bale will depart, taking €30m of wages per year with him. Combined with Marcelo (€16m) and Isco (€14m), these inevitable departures will cover the wages of Haaland.

Real Madrid’s rejuvenation really dates back to the decision to sell Ronaldo, though. It was a bold decision at the time, but while the club have suffered in the interim, it will suddenly look a very smart move if they have both Mbappe and Haaland in their famous white next season.