The Kylian Mbappe transfer saga has taken a new turn with Paris Saint-Germain said to have become the front runners for his signature after tabling a new world-record €135m (£119m) bid for the AS Monaco forward.
Real Madrid and Arsenal were two clubs heavily linked with a move for the striker but according to Goal, the Ligue 1 giants are keen to keep Mbappe in his homeland and are willing to break the transfer record to do so. The Gunners and the Spanish capital club have had bids turned down earlier in the month, but are refusing to back down.
French publication L'Equipe reports that Zinedine Zidane is desperate to lure Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer and has held talks with the forward about his concerns over regular playing time. The AS Monaco striker has made it clear that his next move will be based on his chance to play regularly rather than the remuneration on offer.
The report claims that the Real boss has promised him regular playing time and is willing to offload one of his regular starters – Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale – to make room for him in the starting lineup. It is no secret that Mbappe considers the Spanish club as one of his dream destinations, but a source close to the player recently suggested that he could move elsewhere – Arsenal – initially before securing a big move to the Spanish giants later when he can be a regular.
Arsene Wenger is a big admirer of the striker, who scored 26 goals in his first full season with Monaco, and played a key role in helping them win a first Ligue 1 title in 20 years as well as making the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Gunners boss was close to landing the striker last season, but he decided to stay in the Principality, according to reports the French coach is eager to bring him to the Emirates this summer.
Arsenal will have to break the world transfer record and go up against the financial might of Real and PSG to have a chance of signing Mbappe. According to Football London, Wenger is increasingly confident of landing the 18-year-old forward with the club said to be ready to top the offer made by the French capital club.
Wenger has reportedly promised to make a striker his first choice number nine for the upcoming season, and Mbappe, according to a source close to him, would be open to moving to the Emirates despite the lack of Champions League football on offer as he is aware of the Arsenal manager's track record in developing young French striker's namely Nicolas Anelka and Thierry Henry.
The striker, who was also subject to interest from other Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Liverpool is currently on vacation with his family and has indicated that he will make a decision with regards to his future in consultation with his family after his holidays.