Real Madrid are fixing their sights on creating a new Galactico strikeforce by pairing Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
Los Blancos tried - and failed - to bring in Mbappe this summer, but with the Paris Saint-Germain star out of contract next year, they expect to be able to confirm his transfer via a pre-contract agreement on January 1, 2022.
And joining him next summer may be Haaland, providing Real Madrid can find an agreement with the Norwegian’s super-agent, Mino Raiola.
The double coup would represent some business by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, given the pair are the future of European football and could turn into the sort of totems that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo became.
It was to Real Madrid’s frustration that they couldn’t get a deal over the line for Mbappe before the transfer window slammed shut, but PSG’s refusal to even discuss a deal meant it had no legs, despite the willingness of the player and Real Madrid.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, with Los Merengues able to sign another French prodigy instead - Eduardo Camavinga.
Boss Carlo Ancelotti had wanted a midfielder to bolster his ranks, and in the precocious 18-year-old he has someone who could feature in Real Madrid’s engine room for years to come.
Camavinga has speed, quality on the ball and huge potential for growth, and his capture is the culmination of years spent tracking his progress.
As for Mbappe, Real Madrid expect PSG to go into overdrive in their attempts to convince the 22-year-old to stay in the French capital.
But Perez and his hierarchy are confident they will get their man.
Communication with Haaland so far has been positive, too.
The forward is understood to be excited at the prospect of playing for the club, and Real Madrid expect there to be fewer problems with the negotiations given the good relations between themselves and Haaland’s Borussia Dortmund.
The final piece of the summer 2022 transfer puzzle? Paul Pogba.
The Manchester United man is out of contract next June, and Real Madrid are already exploring the prospect of securing his services.