Arsene Wenger has stepped up his pursuit of Kylian Mbappe by making a personal phone call to the AS Monaco forward about joining Arsenal this summer.
The 18-year-old forward, who burst on to the scene with the Principality club this past season, is the most coveted player in Europe at the moment. Real Madrid are said to be leading the chase for his signature, but there has been interest from clubs in his homeland namely Paris Saint-Germain, while other English clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City have all been linked with moves for Mbappe.
Arsenal have already had a bid turned down for the striker, who scored 26 goals to help Monaco to their first Ligue 1 title in 20 years, but Wenger is reportedly ready to break the world-record in a bid to bring him to the Emirates ahead of other interested suitors.
Citing French publication L'Equipe, the Independent reports that Wenger has had a conversation over phone with the striker about a summer move to the Emirates. It is claimed that the French coach spoke to his compatriot not only about a summer move, but also about how he can manage the rest of his career.
Mbappe is said to be a big admirer of Wenger owing to the Frenchman's ability to nurture young talent and make them realise their true potential. He helped the Monaco forward's compatriot and childhood idol Thierry Henry become one of the most feared strikers in the Premier League after signing him from Juventus, while also helping Frenchman Nicolas Anelka become a top striker after bringing him to Arsenal when he was 17 years old.
A source close to the player recently admitted that Mbappe would be open to move to the Emirates this summer despite the lack of Champions League football, but made it clear that it will be viewed as a stepping stone as his ultimate dream is to play for either Real Madrid or Barcelona.
However, Arsenal will not have it easy in their pursuit of the France international with every top European club maintaining an interest. According to the Liverpool Echo, Jurgen Klopp is ready to enter the race for the striker and will go head-to-head with the Gunners for the services of Mbappe.
The Reds can offer him Champions League football and are said to be waiting to be given a clear indication that he wants to leave the reigning French champions before making a concrete offer for the 26-goal forward.