Arsene Wenger has refuted suggestions over a world-record bid for Kylian Mbappe, insisting that Arsenal have not submitted any offers for his services and stating a belief that the French wonderkid will likely remain with AS Monaco this summer.
Arsenal have been listed alongside Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain as the most prominent suitors in the race for 18-year-old forward Mbappe, who established a reputation as one of the most coveted stars in world football last season after helping Leonardo Jardim's side to win their first Ligue 1 title for 17 years and also reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Reporting on Thursday (13 July), Marca made reference to a huge £123m ($161m) bid from the Gunners while stating that Real were leaning towards attempting to sign him next year with the attacking triumvirate of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema deemed untouchable and Alvaro Morata's hopes of a move to Manchester United now seemingly over.
However, speaking at a press conference held after Arsenal's 3-1 defeat of Western Sydney Wanderers in a pre-season friendly held at ANZ Stadium in Australia on Saturday, Wenger denied that any such approach had been made and appeared to suggest that there was little chance of Mbappe leaving the principality during the current transfer window.
"That's not true as well," he was quoted as saying by the official club website. "People have a big imagination. What we know now about Mbappe is that it's over £100m. After that it's free to imagine what you want. But we have not made an offer. It looks like he will stay at Monaco [for one season]. Too much choice maybe, so in the end people don't move."
Hopes that contract rebel Alexis Sanchez may opt to sign a new deal with Arsenal rather than defect to Premier League rivals Manchester City have risen somewhat over recent weeks, with Wenger having exchanged positive text messages with the player who is currently on holiday after helping Chile to reach the final of the Confederations Cup in Russia.
Despite that growing confidence, any suggestions at this stage that he has already agreed fresh terms are obviously wide of the mark.
"No, a lot that comes out [about] Alexis doesn't look completely right," Wenger said. "No, that's not the case."