Kylian Mbappe joining Real Madrid is "just a question of time" according to Jerome Rothen, who claims the Paris Saint-Germain star was set for the La Liga giants prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mbappe continues to be linked with a blockbuster move to Madrid, where head coach Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for the France international forward.
The 21-year-old, who swapped Monaco for French rivals PSG on an initial loan deal in 2017, is contracted until 2022 but Mbappe is no closer to committing his future to the Ligue 1 champions despite the club's best efforts.
Former PSG midfielder Rothen said Mbappe almost signed for Madrid before the Covid-19 crisis – which has claimed more than 108,700 lives globally – wreaked havoc on sport and society.
"I know from club sources that a deal to take Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid was almost done," Rothen, who won two titles during his six years at PSG, told Radio Montecarlo.
"But with what has been happening, I'm sure that Mbappe's arrival at Real Madrid will be postponed."
Rothen added: "There is no way that Mbappe will extend his contract with PSG.
"They will have an agreement between them in place because PSG agreed to let him go this summer. In my opinion, it's just a question of time."
Prior to coronavirus halting Ligue 1 and sport across the world, Mbappe had scored 18 league goals and 30 across all competitions for PSG in 2019-20.
Mbappe faced Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages this season with Zidane declaring his love for the French attacker last year.
"You know that I have known him for a long time," Zidane told a media conference at the time. "I am already in love with him, firstly as a person, because he came to do a trial here a long time ago.
"On Tuesday he comes as a rival. What matters to me is what we are going to do and we are going to prepare for it. We know the player and we must be prepared."
After PSG beat Madrid 3-0 in September, Mbappe inspired his Ligue 1 side to a 2-2 draw in November after Zidane's men had led 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu with less than 10 minutes to play.