Real Madrid have beaten off competition from a number of clubs including Manchester City, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain in order to agree a world-record deal for AS Monaco star Kylian Mbappe, the latest reports suggest.
According to an article published by Marca on Tuesday (25 July), the reigning Spanish and European champions have agreed in principle an eye-watering €180m (£160.9m, $209.8m) fee for Mbappe that includes an initial payment of €160m and at least a further €20m worth of add-ons. The teenage forward is expected to be handed a six-year contract on wages of €7m per season.
Real are reportedly hoping to seal a deal this week that would see Mbappe easily surpass compatriot and Les Bleus teammate Paul Pogba as the most expensive footballer in history.
Neymar could set another new record over the coming weeks if he completes a proposed €222m switch to PSG.
Los Blancos have always been considered as the front-runners to sign arguably the world's most coveted young talent, with reports in June suggesting that Mbappe, set to join an attack already containing 'BBC' trio Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, had informed Monaco that he only wanted to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Arsenal have also been linked closely with Mbappe and it was claimed earlier this month that the Gunners had submitted a record €140m bid for his services as they also look to raid Ligue 1 winners and Champions League semi-finalists Monaco for Thomas Lemar. Arsene Wenger publicly denied that speculation and revealed that he expected the highly-rated 18-year-old to remain at the Stade Louis II.
A whole host of other European heavyweights were mentioned in connection with the player and last week Monaco released a stern statement threatening Fifa action after revealing that there had been a number of unauthorised approaches from unnamed clubs.
Zinedine Zidane conceded over the weekend that Real Madrid were "missing a striker" following the sale of Alvaro Morata to Chelsea. He remained coy on those frequent links to Mbappe, who scored 26 goals in 44 appearances across all competitions last term, suggesting that he was only focused on a forthcoming pre-season friendly fixture against Manchester United in Santa Clara, California.
Should such a lucrative deal go through, then Mbappe would follow the likes of Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy out of Monaco and become Real's third signing of the current summer transfer window. French left-back Theo Hernandez defected from cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid earlier this month and Under-21 European Championship star Dani Ceballos was also signed from Real Betis despite interest from Barcelona.