Arsene Wenger confirmed that Arsenal are monitoring AS Monaco star Kylian Mbappe, but admits that the Gunners could lose out to clubs with bigger financial muscle.

The 18-year-old France international has exploded on to the scene this season with the Ligue 1 club and is now touted as one of the biggest prospects in Europe. Mbappe has scored 22 goals and assisted a further 11 in 36 games across all competitions in what is his first full season with the senior team after coming up through the youth ranks.

The striker's performances have garnered interest from all across Europe with clubs scrambling for his signature. Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal are among a number of clubs interested in signing the Frenchman.

Monaco have made it clear that they are in no hurry to sell their best players with Spanish radio station Cadena Cope reported last month that Monaco had already rejected a €110m (£92.2m, $118.5m) bid from the Red Devils. It is unlikely to stop interested clubs to continue their pursuit but Wenger feels that Arsenal will be at a disadvantage as they will not be able to compete with clubs that are financially more capable than the north London outfit.

"Of course [we're targeting Mbappe]," Wenger told SFR Sport, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "It would be hypocritical and a lie to say we're not following him."

"But he's perhaps already in the category of clubs who perhaps have more financial potential than us," the French coach added.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe has been instrumental in helping AS Monaco reach the semi-finals of the Champions League Reuters

Monaco, however, could have their hands tied when it comes to negotiating Mbappe's potential transfer away from the Stade Louis II after the club's sporting director Antonio Cordon revealed that the striker does have a release clause in his contract. They will be powerless to stop him from leaving if any interested club meets his exit clause which is said to be quite big.