It is too early to rule Arsenal out of the running to sign Kylian Mbappe, the hottest property in world football, according to reports on Sunday.
Due to a scintillating season in which he played a huge role in their title success and run to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League, Monaco face a battle retaining the services of Mbappe beyond this summer. However, if they do relent and cash in on his signature, they can at least be assured that they will bank a fee which surpasses the current world record of £89million.
That is the price Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer, but it has been widely reported that his French compatriot would cost around £125million. It has also been largely speculated that despite interest from a handful of clubs, should the 18-year-old leave Ligue 1 in the coming weeks his most likely destination is the reigning European champions Real Madrid.
But according to the Sunday Mirror, Arsenal remain very much in the hunt. Despite a fifth-place finish in the Premier League meaning Champions League football is off the agenda at the Emirates Stadium for at least one season, Arsene Wenger is thought to have offered assurance to Mbappe that he would at least be guaranteed regular football with the Gunners, which might not be the case at Real.
It is reported that Wenger has already spoken to the player’s father in a bid to persuade the striker to move to the English capital rather than its Spanish equivalent, and the usually cautious Arsenal manager is also willing to pay the world record £125million price to land his signature. This would dwarf the £42.5million current club record paid to Real for Mesut Ozil in 2013.
Meanwhile, other reports suggest the Gunners are instead closing on Alexandre Lacazette for a fee in the region of £50million. If they do land the Lyon striker, this would cast a huge doubt over their interest in Mbappe. The latter’s Monaco team-mate Thomas Lemar is also widely considered to be a target, with an offer of £30million said to have been rejected just last week.