Real Madrid will take all the help they can get in their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe.
Eden Hazard told Le Parisien this week: "In a few years time he will be the best player in the world and if he continues improving he will be one of the best players in history. If I can help bring him to the club then I will."
Club president Florentino Perez has stepped back from trying to break the transfer record in recent years but Mbappe remains someone he'd gladly make an exception for.
Madrid have not seriously tried to unsettle Harry Kane yet, their interest in Neymar decreases with every passing season he spends one-third out injured, one-third unsettled, and one third on the pitch. And they even balked at paying £130million for Paul Pogba last summer.
But Perez would change his tune for Mbappe [the same here is true for Kane] if he believed the intent was there on the part of the player, who will line up against Real tonight, to push for a move.
Mbappe is not going to stay in France forever. There have been no advances on a new contract which, as things stand, would mean his current deal runs out in 2022 when the player will still only be 24.
Zinedine Zidane upset the French club recently when he said that everyone knew Mbappe's dream was to, one day, play for Real Madrid.
"All I said was something that Kylian Mbappe had already said himself – that it was his dream to one day wear Real Madrid's white shirt," Zidane repeated after the calls for him to stop ‘destabilizing’ the player.
Mbappe is the kid who grew up with Cristiano Ronaldo posters on his wall. He is the player many liken to the Br azilian Ronaldo who also graced the Bernabeu from 2002.
Madrid have not broken the transfer record since Gareth Bale in 2013. Before they made the Welshman their first £86m man they had twice smashed the record in 2009, first for Kaka and then for Cristiano Ronaldo.
They used to make up most of the top 10 all-time signings. They have since been nudged aside by PSG and by Barcelona spending the money the French club paid them for Neymar, on Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.
Mbappe would be a way to get back to the top of the spending tree, but what would really matter is breaking the bank for a player who was really worth it.
In the summer they briefly discussed the possibility of bringing Neymar to Madrid. It had become clear that Barcelona did not have the funds being asked for by PSG and Neymar, despite flirting openly with Barcelona, had at no point ruled out joining Madrid.
But in the end, for all that president Perez still saw the potential commercial gains to be made by counting Neymar among the playing staff, too many other voices in the boardroom put forward too many counter arguments about why it would be a mistake to spend big on a 27-year-old, injury prone, former Barca player with a penchant for flying around the globe during the season to pursue non-football interests and a tendency to want to leave clubs he has joined within his first three years.
Mbappe brings no such difference of opinion. Everyone at Real Madrid believes that if it is possible Madrid should make it happen. Can Hazard help? He certainly speaks the same language as Mbappe both literally and in football terms on the pitch.
The two could be seen chatting to each other in the 2018 World Cup semi-final between Belgium and France. Playing in the same team their understanding would need no words.
They would make up two-thirds of a sublime front three that at first would include Karim Benzema as its third member, and later Rodrygo Goes who could step in with Mbappe playing out his peak years at centre-forward.
But the necessary ingredient for it to happen is the will of the player and his ongoing refusal to sign a new deal, or at least to sign one without a clause that allows him to leave for Real Madrid at some point.
With that future scenario in mind expect the Bernabeu to give him a good welcome on Tuesday night – better than the one they will reserve for Gareth Bale, although that will not be difficult.
Real Madrid have their eye on Mbappe as the jewel in a crown of young players such as Rodrygo, Martin Odegaard and Fede Valverde, bought by the club before they reach Galatico price-tags. It’s too late to sign Mbappe before he's properly discovered.
But it’s not too late to convince him that the stadium he will grace on Tuesday should be the ground he calls home one day.