Wenger admits Mbappe interest – but Monaco looking to keep him

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed his interest in Monaco star Kylian Mbappe, but admits they may already be priced out of a move for the brilliant 18-year-old – although the club remain hopeful of keeping him for at least another season.

I understand The Gunners were the first team to make contact with Monaco last season about Mbappe, but few would have predicted his rise in the last 12-months. Mbappe has bagged 23 goals this season, including five in seven Champions League games.

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Mbappe is now rated as one of the hottest prospects in world football and given they got a deal that could be worth over £70 for Anthony Martial from Manchester United, the fact they are now understood to be looking for in excess of £100million for Mbappe is no surprise.

And Wenger admits the money may already be an issue for him and Arsenal, and he told SFR Sport in France: ” ‘Of course [we’re targeting Mbappe]. It would be hypocritical and a lie to say we’re not following him.”

“But he’s perhaps already in the category of clubs who perhaps have more financial potential than us.”

Monaco have performed brilliantly this season and are hoping to make the Champions League final, with a semi-final against Juventus coming up. They are also still top of Ligue 1 with a game in hand over Paris Saint Germain.

Understandably a number of their squad are being followed by a host of clubs, with the likes of Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy and Fabinho looking like they could be sold.

But French sources have told me that Monaco ‘hope’ they can persuade Mbappe to stay for one more season – although a deal worth in excess of £100million would be very hard to turn down.

“They know they are going to lose a couple, but do not believe Mbappe will be one of them – yes every player has his price, but they are fully expecting him to be around for another season,” the source said.

Mbappe’s agent Pascal Boisseau believes that only four clubs could afford Mbappe, and he also believes staying put could be the best thing for him,

“There are only four clubs in the world that can afford him today: Barca [Barcelona], Real [Madrid], [Manchester] City and United,” he told L’Equipe.

“Leaving this summer would be the worst thing that could happen to him. It’s not a good year.”Today he is flying, there is not a young man of his level. But, even if he is less good next season, Monaco will have offers at €100m also.”


We spoke to BetVictor’s Head of ante post Football Michael Triffitt about the market around Mbappe.

“Arsenal’s transfer policy over recent years has certainly split the fan base but in fairness they are still one of the most well run and prudent clubs in England, even if they don’t flash the cheque book like others!.” Triffitt told TheGamblingTimes.com.

“Arsene Wenger has picked up many a bargain from France during his long reign but Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe is the talk of Europe and even beyond and it may take a leap of faith for him to push the boat out to recruit this exciting player.

“The Gunners are 16/1 to complete the transfer this summer in a market which realistically may rule out many clubs due to the massive fees been branded about. Real Madrid head the betting as 4/1 favourites closely followed by Manchester giants City and United both at 5/1 but it remains to be seen how competitive this actually develops with so many unable to compete financially on this occasion.”

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