It feels like this summer’s transfer season will also be defined by a world record move. Last week it was Marco Verratti and Cristiano Ronaldo who hogged the headlines, this week it’s Kylian Mbappe’s turn.
It’s been a dramatic ascent to stardom for Mbappe, who is a player that not many had heard of 12 months ago. Fast forward to today, and the 18-year-old is the man who will become the king of world football. The rumour is that Real Madrid are waiting for Manchester United to table an offer for Alvaro Morata before moving in with a mammoth bid for the teenager. All the big clubs are in the midst of a bit of a Mexican style stand-off at the moment, waiting with their pistols in hand. All it’s going to take is one club to make the first move for the others to follow suit.
Marca in Spain reported that Monaco rejected a €100 million offer for the Frenchman, and Arsenal are reported to be ready to table an offer as well. But how realistic this report is remains to be seen. Twenty years ago Wenger picked up a similarly hyped Nicolas Anelka from PSG for a few million. But the days when Wenger had the pick of France’s young talent are over, and I would be stunned to see Mbappe rock up at the Emirates.
Monaco are seemingly the de rigueur club for Champions League teams hoping to strengthen and now Chelsea are hoping to pick off Tiemoue Bakayoko from them for £35 million. If the demand for these young Frenchmen is anything to go by – France are going to be some force at the World Cup in Russia next year.
Antonio Conte is preparing to offload Nemanja Matic to make space in the squad for Bakayoko. He’d be ready made for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, as it was under Mourinho at Chelsea that Matic had his best season by far.
With Liverpool signing Mohamed Salah this week – their attention has turned to another elite European player as they look forward to Champions League football for the first time in a few years. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund could be just the ticket that the Reds need. Dortmund are said to have slapped a £62 million price tag on his head, hoping to stave off interest. The Gabon hitman had looked set on a move to PSG before the Parisians decided to pull out. He’s a natural goalscorer and could be the perfect replacement for Daniel Sturridge, whose race is seemingly run at Anfield. West Ham and PSG are interested in the England striker – but have so far baulked at the £40 million asking price. He hasn’t played over 30 games in a Premier League season since he played for Chelsea in 2011/12. So you can understand their hesitation to part with such a big sum of money.
Ex-PSG Sporting Director Patrick Kluivert has revealed that the club are blocking the sale of Marco Verratti to Barcelona or Chelsea. Would a bid upwards of £100 million be enough to change their tune? The Parisians are known for their posturing, and it’s fair to say that a bid of that magnitude will soften their stance.