Robert Pires is confident Arsenal will sign Kylian Mbappe during the summer transfer window, but admits the only problem will be the size of the transfer fee.
Mbappe has attracted interest from all across Europe after his impressive performances for AS Monaco with Manchester United and Real Madrid in the running to acquire his services. Spanish radio station Cadena Cope reported in March that Monaco had already rejected a €110m (£92.2m, $118.5m) bid from the Red Devils.
Arsene Wenger also confirmed Arsenal's interest in signing the 23-goal forward, but admitted that the north London club could be priced out of a move by clubs with better financial backing. Monaco are reluctant to sell their best players, but the Ligue 1 club's sporting director recently revealed that Mbappe does have a release clause in his contract that will allow him to leave the club if an interested suitor agrees to meet the valuation.
Pires, however, thinks his former club will win the race for his signature as he believes Wenger is the right manager to help Mbappe realise his true potential. Arsenal and Monaco's playing style is similar, which the former French midfielder believes will aid in Mbappe's adaptation to the Premier League.
"I do think Arsenal will sign him," Pires told bwin. "The problem is how much. Mbappe has the potential to play for Arsenal and Wenger is the right manager to manage him. Monaco and Arsenal are very similar in clubs, so it won't be much of a transition."
Meanwhile, Pires has labelled Mbappe's comparison to Arsenal Thierry Henry "unnecessary" despite their similarities in terms of physique and playing style. Henry is a World Cup, Euro Cup and Champions League winner among other things and his former Arsenal teammate believes it is too early to compare the Monaco forward to his compatriot just yet.
"The comparison is unnecessary, he's not ready to be compared to Thierry. Mbappe is a very similar player but to compare the two players would be unfair. I hope that Kylian can follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry, he has the same profile as Thierry — quick, strong and a great finisher — but he's very young so I would hold off on comparisons just yet," the former France international added.