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 LaLiga giants and join Juventus in 2018.
Cannavaro, who won two LaLiga titles with Madrid 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."
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.