Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has returned from a short break with his family and is set for key transfer talks with club chief Florentino Perez in the coming days — with Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Gianluigi Donnarumma topping the agenda.
Zidane led Los Blancos to La Liga success in May and also added a second straight Champions League trophy with victory over Juventus in Cardiff on June 3, but it is already time to start planning for the new season with Real back in action in the UEFA Super Cup against Manchester United on August 8, before two Clasico clashes versus Barcelona in the Spanish Supercopa.
The Frenchman is keen to improve the squad for the coming campaign, but the biggest concern for everyone at the club right now is the situation with Ronaldo, with the Portuguese threatening — through the media in his homeland — to leave Spain after what he considers unfair treatment in his ongoing tax case.
Zidane still sees Ronaldo as a pivotal part of his plans at Madrid and has said so since day one. The hope at the club is that the Portuguese has calmed down after the public backing he received from Perez earlier this week, but the coach is keen to sit down with his president to discuss a strategy to keep the four-time Ballon d'Or winner at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Transfer talks are also on the agenda, with Mbappe and Donnarumma at the forefront, along with possible player exits including James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata. Isco's renewal is another topic to be addressed, along with Zidane's own future.
Zidane is a big admirer of Mbappe, and although Madrid would be prepared to wait for one more season for the young French forward, interest from other clubs means a deal will probably need to go ahead this summer.
A Madrid move is Mbappe's preferred option, and even though Monaco are asking for around €130 million, Real think they can buy the 18-year-old for somewhere in the region of €110 million, which would make him the world's most expensive player.
Donnarumma is also 18 and the AC Milan goalkeeper could arrive at the Bernabeu this summer after rejecting his club's offer of a new contract — his current deal set to expire in 2018.
Madrid are closely watching developments with the Italian shot-stopper. Although they would rather wait and bring in the player on a free transfer next year, they would be prepared to pay between €30 million to €35 million if the player were to be sold this summer.
Zidane is happy with current first-choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas, but it is no secret that Madrid have been looking for an upgrade for some time, with David de Gea their top target until that move fell through at the last minute in the summer of 2015.
Donnarumma fits the bill and the Italian is keen on Madrid. And like Mbappe, he is a player for the future. So despite all his success over the past 18 months, Zidane is already looking ahead at building an even stronger side at the Bernabeu.