Despite the continuing devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Real Madrid have still been able to make a 160 million-euro ($188m) bid for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe and are in a "win-win" position.
The offer was rejected with PSG's sporting director Leonardo saying on Wednesday it was "not enough" for the 22-year-old who arrived from Monaco four years ago in a 180 million-euro deal.
A dramatically increased proposal from the record 13-time European champions could possibly even see Mbappe replace Parisian team-mate Neymar, who moved to the French capital from Barcelona for 222 million euros in 2017, as the world's most expensive player.
According to Real's latest accounts, published in July, they boast net assets of 534 million euros and had 122 million euros cash in the bank.
Their total wage bill for last season was 448 million euros, slightly below the limit of 473.3 million euros set by La Liga.
Since then they have got captain Sergio Ramos's enormous salary off the wage bill and sold Mbappe's international team-mate Raphael Varane, another high earner, to Manchester United for a reported 40 million euros.
They also raised a similar amount from the sale of Martin Odegaard to Arsenal.
In 2020, Morocco wing-back Achraf Hakimi, Spain defender Sergio Reguilon and midfielder Oscar Rodriguez departed the Santiago Bernabeu for an accumulated 90 million euros.
A leader in the field of football finances believes Los Blancos can afford Mbappe.
"Real Madrid have around 290 million euros for recruitment," Placido Rodriguez Guerrero, professor at Oviedo University and president of the Sports Economics Observatory in Spain, told AFP this week.
"Mbappe's annual salary at Real Madrid would be about 35 million euros a year net, (70 million euros gross)."
"To cushion the investment, in my opinion, Real will offer a contract of at least six seasons. With the transfer fee, we're looking at an investment of 620 million euros from Real," he added.
Mbappe has a year to run of his contract at the Parc de Princes, which the club are pushing him to renew, following in the footsteps of Neymar and securing an enticing attacking trio alongside new arrival Lionel Messi.
The France World Cup winner has never hidden his desire to try pastures new.
In May 2019 he opened the door to leaving PSG as he felt he needed "more responsibilities."
Guerrero believes Real are keen for a move ahead of the end of the transfer window, on August 31.
"It would be a win-win deal," he said.
"PSG could gain around 225 million euros straight away, with the transfer feel and the player's salary."
"If the deal is pushed back to next summer then PSG would gain zero euros."
"Real Madrid are pushing to finishing the transfer now, because if it's next summer, when the player is a free agent, an English club, to take an example, could offer a salary of 50 million euros net, which Real couldn't fight against," he added.