Real Madrid board member Jose Manuel Otero Lastre has opened up on the club’s plans to pursue Kylian Mbappe in 2024.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar has long sat at the top of Madrid’s wish list and the Spanish side are hoping to secure Mbappe’s signature on a free transfer next summer when his current contract is due to expire.
Amid fears he could leave for free, PSG put Mbappe up for sale during the summer but no formal offer from Madrid ever arrived. As 90min reported at the time, concerns over his price tag saw Madrid focus their efforts on a free transfer in 2024 instead.
Appearing on the Remontada Blanca Twitch channel (via AS), Otero – a two-time board member who has worked alongside president Florentino Perez since 2002 – answered plenty of questions about Madrid’s plans for Mbappe.
“Mbappe had and did not have the opportunity to sign for Real Madrid this summer,” Otero began. “To come, he would have had to give up some very high bonuses that he had already agreed with Paris Saint-Germain. Plus, there was a [transfer] fee to pay.
“The amount that would have had to be paid to have signed Mbappe a year earlier was crazy. It didn’t make sense to sign Mbappe a year earlier, even though Madrid were broken in [Karim] Benzema’s position.”
He continued: “We hope that Mbappe has the same thoughts as [Jude] Bellingham. I trust that he will come. Mbappe will achieve glory when he comes to Real Madrid. He will win a Champions League someday.
“Now, it seems like PSG are less powerful than before because they no longer have such good players. Madrid guarantees security, a seriousness that brings results. I trust he will say yes when he is a free agent. Mbappe was born to play for Real Madrid.”
This isn’t the first time Madrid have pursued the signing of Mbappe on a free transfer. The Frenchman came close to joining in 2022 before signing a surprise contract extension.
“Mbappe was such a young kid and they flooded him with money and he made a decision,” Otero reflected. “If we ask him today and he is sincere and speaks honestly, Mbappe would say he regrets that decision. He could have already won a European Cup and been happy in Madrid.”
That contract extension was also reported to have upset president Perez, but Otero insisted the bond between Perez and Mbappe remains strong.
“The relationship between Mbappe and Florentino was never bad,” he claimed. “Florentino did not take it the wrong way. He understood the player’s reaction.
“If you look closely, there was not a single intemperate reaction from Madrid against the player. [Perez] always protected [Mbappe]. There were more fans who were disappointed, but Madrid always left its doors open. [Zinedine] Zidane was 29 years old, Mbappe is going to come at around 25. The number of years he has left with us…”
Otero concluded: “If we had taken a wrong step with Mbappe, PSG would have tried to react against Real Madrid. Madrid knows perfectly well what it can and should do. If Mbappe comes, he will come inside the law. Without anyone being able to accuse us of having made a pact.
“What [PSG] took for granted last year, when [Nasser] Al Khelaifi said that [Mbappe] had an agreement with Real Madrid, that is not true.”