Real Madrid are poised to smash the world transfer record for the sixth time in their history with the €180m (£160m) signing of Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.
Florentino Perez tried to sign the 18-year-old earlier this summer but Mbappe’s family and advisers rejected the advances because they felt it would be the wrong move at the wrong time.
There were concerns that he would struggle for playing time in Real Madrid’s all-star squad, something that would be completely counter-productive for a player of his age in a World Cup year.
But Real Madrid have since sold Alvaro Morata to Chelsea and sent James Rodriguez on a two-year loan to Bayern Munich and the youngster’s close circle now believe he will be able to develop in the right way with the Spanish giants.
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has been the key man in the operation, convincing the player he will be looked after at Madrid where he will join up with his compatriot Karim Benzema as well as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Mbappe will compete with those three for a place in Madrid’s front three.
The promise that all three of those established stars needing rest time throughout the season ensures Mbappe will play regularly as Madrid look to retain the league, the Champions League and win the Club World Cup.
Sources close to Florentino Perez at Spanish newspaper Marca have confirmed an agreement in principal for the player.
Real have broken the record on six occasions previously.
They set a new record in 2000 when they spent £37m on signing Luis Figo from Barcelona. A year later they beat their own record with a £46m signing of Zidane from Juventus.
They broke the record twice in 2009, first with the £50m signing of Kaka from Milan and then with the £80m capture of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United.
Gareth Bale then took the record in 2013 when Real Madrid signed him from Tottenham.
Manchester United hold the current record after they brought Paul Pogba from Juventus for £89m pounds last season but Madrid’s capture of Mbappe would shatter that.
The record will not last until the start of the new season if Paris Saint-Germain manage to sign Neymar from Barcelona but whatever happens between now and the closing of the transfer window Mbappe looks set to become the highest paid teenager in history.
Madrid say Mbappe will sign for six seasons, earning €7m (£6.2m) net. That translates to €270,000-a-week (£241,000-a-week) before tax for an 18-year-old.
Real Madrid want to pay a flat fee of €160m (£143m) rising to €180m (£160m) over the six-year deal, depending on the player’s progress.