I heard it from Florentino a few years ago, when he insisted on signing Zidane: “Everything that can be fixed with money has a remedy.” He did not say it with pride or disdain, quite the contrary. He said it humbly. He sees money as a tool, not an end. The end was Zidane and the tool, the money. That’s why he paid 77.5 million for Zinedine, which then became the most expensive signing in history.
The signing of Mbappé takes me back to that of Zidane. But it’s not the same. Agnelli’s Juventus, owner of FIAT and Ferrari, was an emporium then, even more than now. But nothing to do with PSG today. The old Agnelli would today be a poor man to ask in front of the Emir Al-Thani, possessor of an incalculable fortune that rides on the back of gas, of which the country that reigns, Qatar, is the world’s largest producer.
But Florentino, involved in buying and selling players, is a galactic. Play with an advantage, because it handles parameters different from those of ordinary mortals. Zidane’s 77.5 million, or Mbappé’s 170 + 10 (which could soon be 180 + 20), they give vertigo to anyone, but not to those who are used to closing annually the contracting of thousands of kilometers of highway at an average market price of eight million per kilometer, depending on whether or not viaducts have to be built to overcome natural obstacles.
That is why you have to trust Florentino’s negotiating skills. Until zero o’clock tomorrow, anything is possible. The only ones who really matter to him know it, the Real Madrid partners. And the only pressure he feels is from all of them. The first, those of his grandchildren, all partners, of course, who call him all the time to see how Mbappé is going. The grandfather responds to them what to all: calm down. If Mbappé does not come now, he will come later. But that no longer depends on Florentino. For him it will not remain.