This summer has seen Real Madrid submit multiple bids for Kylian Mbappé. The last one was €220 million with a further €10 million in add-ons. This is an insane amount of money especially when you consider he has entered the last year of his contract. With a bid worth around £190 million, could you build a starting XI for that money?
Goalkeeper – Gianluigi Donnarumma (free)
Italy’s number one left on a free transfer this summer. Donnarumma left his boyhood club for French giants PSG and went on to be a standout player as Italy win the Euros. He made 215 appearances for the Rossoneri in just six seasons, first making his debut in October 2015, when he was just 16 years and 242 days old.
In Milan, he built up a reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and when it was announced he would leave for free at the end of his contract, a race for his signature started. European giants such as Real Madrid, Manchester City and of course, PSG, were interested. After winning the race, the French club have an elite shot-stopper for years to come.
Right-back – Denzel Dumfries (£10 million)
After impressing during the European Championships this summer, Dumfries sealed his move. The 25-year-old swapped PSV for Inter Milan following Achraf Hakimi’s departure. The Italian giants snapped up the right-back for just £10 million despite interest from other clubs including Bayern Munich and Everton.
The Dutch defender will struggle to replicate the Moroccan’s attacking output as he grabbed seven goals and eight assists. However, the former Heerenveen star will offer more defensive solidity to Inzaghi’s side. He possesses the tools to prove himself as a bargain, something Inter Milan crave will their financial situation.
Centre-back – Sergio Ramos (free)
After 469 appearances in 16 seasons at Real Madrid, Ramos moved on. This came after Los Blancos failed to give the Spaniard the two-year contract he was after. PSG capitalised and brought the defender in when he still performing at a high level and can bring numerous years of experience.
Ramos is a born winner. In the Spanish capital, he won four Champions Leagues, five La Ligas, two Copa del Reys amongst many other trophies. This as well as the many personal accolades and of course the two European Championships and the World Cup with Spain show what he brings. The French giants crave the Champions League, now they have the pedigree.
Centre-back – Jean-Clair Todibo (£8 million)
Pipped by Jannik Vestergaard at £15 million, Todibo is set for a big season at OGC Nice. With Christophe Galtier joining after winning an unexpected title with Lille, the former Barcelona defender could be making headlines.
The French manager is known for developing the youth and at just 21-years-old, Todibo is very much a young player. The centre-back has shown a lot of promise in numerous loan spells away at the Nou Camp but failed to find a home. After 15 appearances in the second half of the season, Nice made the deal permanent. Now with Galtier, this is Todibo’s time.
Left-back – Achraf Hakimi (£50 million)
The aforementioned Hakimi makes the team. Playing slightly out of position, the Moroccan switched Italy for France in a £50 million move. He can bring a lot of attacking output from the backline having got 15 direct goals involvements in both of his last two seasons. This is despite having played for two different clubs.
Now onto his fourth elite club in Europe despite being just 22 years old, he is hoping to make France his home. Mauricio Pochettino has built up a reputation for getting the best out of full-backs following his time at Tottenham. In North London he turned Kyle Walker and Danny Rose into superstars, now it is Hakimi’s time to become even better.
Central midfielder – Georginio Wijnaldum (free)
Not the first, nor the last, of the free transfers for PSG. The Dutchman leaves Liverpool having not got less than 33 league appearances in a single campaign. Jürgen Klopp will certainly miss the reliable midfielder.
He offered a lot. From covering the advancing full-backs to coming up with crucial goals, Wijnaldum did it all at Anfield. He will be fondly remembered by the Liverpool faithful especially for the role he played in the 4-0 home win over Barcelona. Now writing a new chapter in his career, he will be looking to win more trophies.
Central midfielder – Nahitan Nández (£25 million)
The only player in this team not to get a move, Nández has built up a lot of attention. The Cagliari midfielder is coming off an excellent season. The all-action midfielder was courted by both title winners Inter Milan and Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United this summer.
However, neither club met the Uruguyan’s £25 million buyout clause. This hasn’t stopped the 25-year-old from being linked with moves away to Europe’s elite. With Bayern Munich and Atlético Madrid also interested in the midfielder, it won’t be long before the former Boca Juniors star gets his move away.
Attacking midfielder – Lionel Messi (free)
Capping off PSG’s impressive summer is Lionel Messi. No words have to be said about the Argentine, he is one of, if not the, best ever footballer.
Right-winger – Donyell Malen (£25 million)
Jadon Sancho’s replacement at Borussia Dortmund, Malen is a snip at £25 million. Although he is prominently a striker who can be deployed on the left so is not a like-for-like replacement. The Dutchman is coming to Germany having got 24 goals and eight assists in just 3131 Europa League and Eredivise minutes.
The former Arsenal youth player will be joining up with fellow young stars such as Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham. He is impressed everywhere he has played including his first year in England where he got 14 in 30 at youth level. Malen has big shoes to fill but with Marco Rose at the helm, he is sure to attract more attention once he has settled in.
Striker – Cristiano Ronaldo (£20 million)
Manchester United’s Portuguese hero got his return to Old Trafford this summer following years of speculation. Like Messi, he is one of, if not the, best ever footballer – no words are needed.
Left-winger – Jack Harrison (£10 million)
After three years on loan, Harrison is finally a Leeds United player. The Stoke born winger spent most of his youth career with Liverpool and Manchester United before his family moved to America. After impressing at New York City, Manchester City brought him back to England. After a brief loan spell at Middlesbrough, he moved to Leeds.
Marcelo Bielsa singled the Englishman out for his Leeds side and has been ever-present since. Having only missed three league matches since the start of 2018/19, two of which were because he was illegible to play against his parent club Man City, the Argentine has stuck by Harrison despite his slow start. Having got eight goals and eight assists in his maiden Premier League campaign, he is blossoming into a star.
Manager – Antonio Conte
The Italian is back on the market as a free agent. He won Juventus’ first league title since 2002/03, this started their dominance where they won every title up to the 2019/20 season. This run was broken as Inter Milan won their first trophy since their historic 2010/11 treble under José Mourinho, the manager of this Inter side was of course Conte.
Up against Zinedine Zidane, Lucien Favre, Ernesto Valverde, Eddie Howe and Frank Lampard, Conte is the more desirable of the bunch. Although Zidane has the Champions League pedigree, the Italian’s domestic dominance is why clubs want him more.
Pierluigi Gollini – loan
Serge Aurier – free (released by Tottenham)
Merih Demiral – loan (£3 million fee)
Cristian Romero – loan
Eric Garcia – free
Nuno Mendes – loan (£5 million fee)
Lucas Torreira – loan (£1.5 million fee)
Sandro Tonali – £6 million (after loan with obligation to buy)
Saúl – loan (£3.5 million fee)
Manuel Locatelli – loan
Hakan Calhanoglu – free
Demarai Gray – £1.5 million
Francisco Trincao – loan
Memphis Depay – free
Antoine Greizmann – loan
After building a full squad with about £21.5 million, it emphasises the talent that Mbappé is. This squad would be capable of challenging on all fronts in England and even the Champions League.