Argentina legend Diego Maradona has urged Real Madrid to sign Kylian Mbappe as he is the next big thing in football. The retired international also spoke about his conversation with Florentino Perez where he urged the Real president his justification for not signing the Frenchman.

Mbappe was linked with a big-money move to Los Blancos throughout the off-season, before settling on a switch to Paris Saint-Germain. PSG eventually signed the teenager on loan with the view to a permanent deal with an option to buy him permanently from Monaco for €180m (£141m, $188m) next summer, but Maradona insists that Real should be on the lookout for the forward.

Mbappe has scored 10 times and registered seven assists in 21 appearances for PSG during the 2017-18 campaign. The Argentine believes that Real should do away with Bale to make room for the Frenchman and use the money recouped from his transfer to seal a move.

Bale's career in Spain has stalled due to various injury troubles. The 28-year-old has struggled to feature in the league for Real this season and had not played for the club since September due to a calf problem before he returned as a substitute in the Copa del Rey clash against Fuenlabrada last month.

"Mbappe, for me he is the big revelation in football. I think he can surpass many players," Maradona told Spanish publication AS, as quoted by Four Four Two. "And why did [Perez] not sign him? I told him! It was when we saw each other at FIFA. He said to me, '[but] you know I have Cristiano'."

"Sell Bale, give Bale away," he added. "He will surely be a makeweight for something, and Florentino will be left with half of Madrid or half of Italy and Bale will play for AC Milan or Inter. But I think they have to buy Mbappe."

Perez had earlier admitted that Real did consider swooping for Mbappe during the summer transfer window but decided against it as they would not have been able to afford him the necessary playing time in order to further accelerate his astonishingly rapid development.

"We thought about Mbappe [in the summer], but we have a very complete squad," Perez told El Espanol. "It was difficult for us to fit in a young player like him, with a lot of promise. At PSG he will be able to play more often. He has a big chance to be a real star, as have our young players like Marco Asensio."

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe agreed a loan move from Monaco to PSG on deadline Getty