Brazilian defender Eder Militao has become the first signing of the second Zinedine Zidane era at Real Madrid.
The 21-year-old will be the first of several incomings in the summer as Zidane attempts to inject new life into a squad that has disappointed this season.
The Independent have reported that Zidane has been promised £300 million to overhaul the squad, and there’s no doubt that he’s already prepared a wishlist of potential signings.
Los Blancos are expected to sign a high-profile star in the summer and there aren’t many bigger right now than Neymar.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward has been linked with a move to the Bernabeu for a long time – AS report that Real emissaries travelled to Brazil to speak to Neymar and his advisers in February 2018.
It seems that the 27-year-old isn’t concerned about playing for Barcelona’s rivals and, with PSG once again failing to compete for the Champions League, it’s easy to imagine him opting to join Real.
But according to AS, that’s not going to happen.
Zidane prefers Mbappe
The Spanish outlet claim that Zidane was never keen on a move for Neymar during his first stint in charge, the Frenchman concerned about the enormous outlay that it would take to sign him.
Zidane thought that the money could be better invested elsewhere and that there were players of a similar level who would suit his ‘team above individual’ ethos.
Neymar’s tendency to fly back to Brazil also concerned Zidane, who thought that the Brazil international and the media circus that follows him would be an unnecessary distraction.
AS’ report claims that Real are now in agreement with Zidane that Neymar wouldn’t be worth signing.
Vinicius Jr.’s emergence lessens the need to sign Neymar, who plays in the same position as the 18-year-old, and Los Blancos would prefer to sign Kylian Mbappe than his PSG teammate.
Mbappe has usurped Neymar in Real president Florentino Perez’s opinion, and Zidane also admires the young France striker.
Perez hopes that Zidane’s return will help lure Mbappe to Madrid.
So it’s unlikely that Neymar will be joining the Spanish giants after all.
AS’ report concludes: “Given [Zidane’s] reluctance to sanction a move for Neymar initially, his preference for compatriot Mbappe and the respective ages of the two PSG stars, it would appear evident that Neymar’s chance to move to Madrid has definitively been and gone.”