Football transfer rumours: Kylian Mbappé heading for Manchester City?

Barry Glendenning
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Kylian Mbappé, left, is setting all kinds of rumour hearts fluttering.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters</span>
Kylian Mbappé, left, is setting all kinds of rumour hearts fluttering. Photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters

From Aberdeen’s rather fortuitous Scottish FA Cup semi-final win over Hibs on Saturday lunchtime until Real Madrid’s last-minute, late-night La Liga heartbreak at the hands of Barcelona more than 24 hours later, the Mill watched so much exciting football action over the weekend that reverting back to more mundane speculation regarding the future whereabouts of various players seems like little more than methadone for what passes for our soul. The Daily Express reports that Manchester City are ready to spend a record-breaking amount to bring Monaco’s teenage striker Kylian Mbappé to the Etihad Stadium and will spend more on him than the £89m Manchester United splashed out on Paul Pogba. Whether or not the 18-year-old has any desire to leave Monaco remains to be seen, although the club’s vice-president has stated that neither Mbappénor his equally sought after team-mates Thomas Lemar or Bernardo Silva have asked for transfers.

“No player has told us they want to leave,” said Vadim Vasilyev to French TV show Telefoot. “Of course, we will talk with the players. But with the World Cup taking place in 2018, Thomas, Kylian nor Bernardo would not want to leave. But this is not the time for discussions. We will do everything to keep them. One thing is for sure; Monaco will have a very competitive team next year.” About a month ago, Spanish radio station Cadena Cope reported that Manchester United had already tested Monaco’s mettle with a bid of around £70m for Mbappé that was politely declined.

Should Luke Shaw decide he is sick of being publicly criticised by José Mourinho at United, the left-back will have no shortage of suitors. Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham are all reported to be interested in a player who has already publicly stated his desire to stay at Old Trafford.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is lining up Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku for what can only be described in transfer-speak as the mother of all “summer double-swoops”, while Manchester United’s hopes of securing the signature of Paris Saint-Germain’s Ivorian right-back Serge Aurier could be torpedoedby Barcelona. French daily L’Equipe say the player’s “people” have been holding talks with the Spanish side, who have offered the French champions £20m to bring him to Camp Nou.

Arsenal will celebrate their FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City with a similarly sized bid for RB Leipzig’s Swedish winger Emil Forsberg. Meanwhile in Madrid those tedious Atlético striker Antoine Griezmann to Manchester United rumours refuse to go away, while reports from the Spanish capital say Real will offer James Rodríguez and Alvaro Morato to Juventus in exchange for the ridiculously talented Paulo Dybala.

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