Arsenal are reportedly ready to increase their bid for AS Monaco prodigy Kylian Mbappe to a world-record £95 million.
According to Neil Fissler of the Sunday Express, despite seeing an £87 million offer rejected, the Gunners will not be deterred in their pursuit of football's brightest prospect.
"Monaco have already knocked [back] an offer of £105 million, but...the Gunners offered a bigger upfront payment for Mbappe," Fissler reported, also noting that Manchester City and Manchester United are also keen to acquire the 18-year-old.
Mbappe burst on to the scene with the principality outift in 2016-17, helping them to the Ligue 1 title. It's been a long time since a footballer so young triggered so much buzz. But as noted by Squawka Football, the numbers Mbappe is posting are staggering:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Kylian Mbappé became the youngest player this century to score 15 goals in a season in Europe's top 5 leagues. 18 years & 147 days old. 🌟 https://t.co/jkCVYzgPGx2017-6-2 20:08:00
And anyone who sampled one of Monaco's matches last term will understand why world-record bids are supposedly being signed off.
Mbappe has got everything you'd want from a centre-forward. He's strong and explosive, meaning he's rarely bullied by opposition defenders. There's an intelligence to his work too, as the Monaco man is so astute in his movement in the penalty area, meaning team-mates can consistently find him in space.
Needless to say, it would be some coup if Arsenal were to sign him. The Gunnerblog Twitter account offered a theory as to why the youngster would opt to move to the Emirates Stadium:
Arsenal's only hope of landing Mbappe is that he sees it as somewhere he can play regular football for 3 years before going to Real or Barca2017-6-2 09:00:30
Monaco will be determined to keep Mbappe around for a while yet, though. The youngster only established himself as a guaranteed first-team player in the second half of the season and still has refinements to make to his game. The Stade Louis II feels like the right place to continue that process.
With the FIFA World Cup to come next summer, Mbappe would benefit from another year of stability, and Monaco would be able to command an enormous fee if he impressed in Russia. That means Arsenal and other suitors are set to be frustrated.
Wojciech Szczesny Latest
According to David Manasseh, the agent for Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, the Poland international will speak to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger before making a decision on his future.
The stopper is on the cusp of a crucial summer, having spent the past two seasons on loan with AS Roma. Links with a possible move to Juventus have emerged as well. Manasseh is adamant nothing has been determined yet, though.
"There is still no agreement with Juventus," he told Przeglad Sportowy (h/t Alex Young of the Evening Standard). "Szczesny has yet to talk with Wenger, who has been confirmed as Arsenal coach for the next two years."
According to Young, the Gunners are set to cash in on back-up stopper David Ospina this summer, meaning there may be space in the squad for Szczesny behind first-choice 'keeper Petr Cech. The Guardian’s Amy Lawrence believes the Pole deserves a second chance at the Emirates Stadium:
Amy Lawrence @amylawrence71
Szczesny has had a great season, learned a lot. With one season left on his Arsenal contract, hope they show him they want him back.2017-5-19 15:21:43
Szczesny developed brilliantly at Roma in 2016-17 and was one of the side's most dependable performers as they finished a creditable second in Serie A.
At 27, the decision the goalkeeper makes this summer is crucial. With Ospina said to be on his way out and the 35-year-old Cech showing some signs of his age last term, the Gunners would be unwise to cash in on Szczesny without giving him an opportunity next season.