AS Monaco have revealed star striker Kylian Mbappe does have a release clause in his contract—although the exact value of the figure remains unclear. Meanwhile, Los Blancos flop James Rodriguez has reportedly caught Inter Milan's attention.
Mbappe has emerged as a potential target ahead of the summer transfer window, and though Monaco sporting director Antonio Cordon revealed he does have a clause in his deal, he failed to disclose how much it's worth.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser (h/t Stuart Ballard of the Daily Express), he said: "Have Real Madrid contacted us for Mbappe? The truth is they haven't. I hope that Mbappe continues with us for a long time and gives us many great nights of football. He is a player that has had an important progression and has deserved it. He is going strong"
There are many factors to consider in order for a player to succeed. He is still very young. We will see what happens this summer - we expect it to be a long one.
I hope he stays for the good of Monaco, but we know how the market works and what football is like. He has a clause and it's quite a lot of money. I don't know exactly how much, but it's a lot.
Los Merengues have been cited as just one among many teams thought to be seeking Mbappe's signature following his break into the elite ranks of world football this season.
Despite being just 18 years of age, Mbappe boasts a record of 22 goals in 36 games across all competitions and has earned comparisons to compatriot and fellow Monaco alumnus Thierry Henry:
B/R Football @brfootball
Kylian Mbappe—The boy with the world at his feet 🌏 https://t.co/f8Kg0l1UMp2017-4-20 07:42:28
Real already have France striker Karim Benzema leading their line and are unlikely to get rid of their frontman anytime soon, although Mbappe may be one of the few options who could force their hand.
Another starlet striker lighting up the European circuit is Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, although the BBC's John Bennett recently spoke of Monaco's counterpart as the superior talent:
John Bennett @JohnBennettBBC
@CharlieMullings Ibra has stopped him getting more chances. Let's see when he gets a full season. As I say though, Mbappé looks better.2017-4-20 21:30:37
Elsewhere, Italian newspaper Il Corriere dello Sport (h/t Calciomercato.com) reported Inter are already in contact with Rodriguez's agent, Jorge Mendes, in their bid to force through a summer move for Real's failed experiment.
Following three seasons of mixed involvement at the Santiago Bernabeu, this may be the window in which Rodriguez's tenure with Los Blancos finally reaches its end, according to Andrew Gaffney:
Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC
@PeteWeston He wants to stay but also wants to play. #poet I sense James Rodriguez will leave and then Isco is essentially guaranteed more minutes.2017-4-7 09:32:31
It's mentioned in Calciomercato's report that Inter's director of sport, Piero Ausilio, was in Monaco to discuss a potential move for Rodriguez with Mendes, although the result of that chat is unknown.
Rodriguez hasn't relented in training despite struggling to feature consistently for manager Zinedine Zidane in recent times, and he has proved himself to be a potent resource when he does play:
Real Madrid C.F. @realmadriden
👍1⃣0⃣ @jamesdrodriguez has racked up 3⃣8⃣ assists for #RealMadrid - with at least 10 in each season! 👇📽👇 https://t.co/jgQUqr4UuS2017-3-30 10:01:16
One stumbling block for the Nerazzurri may be meeting Rodriguez's wage demands, with Serie A clubs generally unable to offer the same salaries as their Spanish and English counterparts.
That being said, Rodriguez may be willing to accept a minor cut in order to bring an end to his Real Madrid tenure, which has seen the Colombia international score 31 goals in 105 appearances, per Transfermarkt.