Fabio Cannavaro believes Real Madrid need Kylian Mbappe so he can follow in Cristiano Ronaldo's footsteps, but feels it will be tough to sign the Paris Saint-Germain star.
Mbappe, 21, continues to be linked with a move to Madrid from PSG, where he has starred during the past three seasons.
Madrid have found it hard to replace Ronaldo, who decided to leave the La Liga giants and join Juventus in 2018.
Cannavaro, who won two La Liga titles with Los Blancos as a player, said Mbappe could be the player the club need to follow what Ronaldo delivered.
"Real Madrid need players like Mbappe, a young star who could follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo," the Guangzhou Evergrande coach told AS.
"It's normal that Madrid want to sign him but it also has to be taken into account that PSG's owners don't need the money. They are ambitious and they want to win the Champions League.
"I think it will be difficult for Madrid to get him. The president of PSG is a person who wants to win, I know them well and they will fight tooth and nail to keep Mbappe."
Former Arsenal coach Unai Emery also thinks Mbappe should swap Parc des Princes for the Bernabeu.
The Spaniard believes the World Cup winner has the talent to create a spectacular period at Madrid , if he decided to make the move.
"Of course he has the ability to mark an era in Madrid," former Arsenal coach Emery told AS.
"Advise which league to play in? When I was in France, I love that he was there because I enjoyed it. When I went to England, I would have liked him to play in the Premier League.
"And if I return to Spain, I want him to be here.
"Look, surely there will be things from PSG that fill you up and maybe some will not, and there may be Real Madrid."
Mbappe has won three Ligue 1 titles, a Coupe de France and a Coupe de la Ligue with PSG.
He scored 30 goals in 33 games in all competitions this season, with the Ligue 1 campaign cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.