More evidence that Arsenal and Liverpool have given up attempts to sign Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe has emerged after Bordeaux forward Gaetan Laborde revealed both Premier League giants had displayed interest in the Frenchman. Barcelona and Real Madrid are now considered the front-runners to acquire 18-year-old Mbappe, meaning Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp must look elsewhere to improve their respective attacks.
French website Foot Mercato suggested in June that the Gunners and the Reds were ready to approach the 23-year-old this summer if a move for Mbappe failed to materialise. The forward netted 13 goals and made eight assists for Les Girondins, who finished sixth in Ligue 1 last season and secured a place in the Europa League.
With Barcelona and Real now slugging it out to sign Mbappe, Arsenal and Liverpool are forced to look elsewhere if they still want to bolster their forward lines. Laborde has confirmed both clubs have made their interest known but they are yet to submit any offers.
"There was real interest, but nothing official," he told Foot365 when asked about interest from Arsenal and Liverpool. "I don't let it bother me, but it's true that it's flattering. It adds to your confidence. It's always good to be followed by clubs like that.
"They're two big clubs, but to go as far as saying there were official bids... I don't know anything more and I don't want to think about it too much. I'm at Bordeaux and there's a lot of important stuff coming up. I'm focused on that. I have an agent that deals with the rest."
Laborde is contracted to Bordeaux until 2020 and added "I want to confirm, to play. I am still young, it is necessary to confirm before thinking of something else. I am very happy here, I have the confidence of everyone. It is the most important."
Since first being linked with Laborde, both Arsenal and Liverpool have added to their attacks and it remains to be seen whether either club return for the ex-Stade Brest and Clermont Auvergne hitman.
Alexandre Lacazette swapped Lyon for north London in a club record move for Arsenal, while Liverpool have added Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke to their artillery ahead of the new season. The clubs begin their Premier League campaigns against Leicester City and Watford respectively next weekend.
Meanwhile, Mbappe's future has taken a twist in recent days after The Guardian claimed Real had reached an agreement to sign the France international for €180m [£161m], the highest fee ever paid for a teenager. The report adds that the forward would earn €7m-per-season after signing a six-year contract, taking the combined cost of the transfer including the fee and his wages to €222m [£198m].
But Barcelona have since emerged as a contender after it emerged that Mbappe wants to replace Neymar at the Nou Camp following his move to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record €222m.