Spanish giants, Real Madrid have not ruled out a late move for Neymar or Kylian Mbappe at the end of the month and are closely monitoring events at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to see if there can be a leeway.
Rumours have been rife that the European League champions could go ahead with their pursuit of the Brazil attacker and the France forward as their top transfer targets to replace Cristiano Ronaldo surprisingly left the Bernabeu to join Italian giants, Juventus last July.
However, the record winning European champions took the unusual step of denying their interest in either player with statements published on their website, citing their “excellent relationship” with the Parisian outfit.
With French side, PSG being investigated for a possible breach of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, Real would capitalise on any opportunity to have either player.
Europe's football governing body, UEFA, is currently investigating PSG, in a re-review of their spending after pressure from La Liga president Javier Tebas, who has long claimed the French side are in breach of FFP regulations.
Real Madrid are anxiously looking for another star player to replace Cristiano Ronaldo who shockingly left the Bernabeu for Juventus this summer.
Several reports in Spain say PSG could be forced to sell either Mbappe or Neymar if the club are found to be guilty of spending in excess of their income, but the Ligue 1 champions are confident UEFA’s re-review will come to nothing and are sure both players will be staying at the Parc des Princes this summer.
While there is some confusion over the basis of the review, it concerns PSG’s player investment for the period incorporating the 2016-17 season, which was before either Neymar or Mbappe moved to the club.
Neymar was signed in a €222 million (£198m) deal from Barcelona last August, while Mbappe was brought in initially on loan from Monaco that same summer, with the move completed permanently in July for a fee of €180m (£166m).
Contrary to information published in Spain, findings of the review are not expected to be published imminently, with PSG expecting a decision towards the end of this month.
And while the French side believe they will be told by UEFA that they have acted correctly and in accordance with FFP rules, the club will need to tread carefully with their transfer dealings in the remainder of this month to ensure they balance the books for next summer.
That explains their interest in signing a cut-price left-back, with the Parisians looking to bring in Atletico’s Filipe Luis for a low fee or even sign Tottenham’s Danny Rose on loan.
PSG will also look at shipping out two or three players before the transfer window closes at the end of August, with Goncalo Guedes set to move to Valencia in a permanent deal, while Julian Draxler or Giovani Lo Celso will be allowed to leave if a suitable offer comes in and midfielder Adrien Rabiot – who is out of contract in 2019 and playing hardball over new contract – another player who could move on.
Even if they are found to have broken FFP regulations, PSG can appeal this season and the capital club will look to tie up a number of new sponsorship agreements before Christmas as they seek to strengthen their finances for the seasons ahead.
Madrid, meanwhile, will continue to keep tabs on both Neymar and Mbappe and will be ready to make a move if PSG do decide to sell, with up to €300m available after minimal spending so far this summer, although it looks like the Spanish side will have to wait at least until next year to have a chance of bringing in either player.
Real are also interested in Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, but have been deterred by the Blues’ high asking price for the Belgium attacker and may opt to bring in another centre-forward instead, with Iago Aspas the latest name to be linked in the Spanish press.