Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reportedly made contact with representatives of AS Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, with the Reds said to be ready to battle for football's hottest prospect.
According to Dominic King of the Daily Mail, the German has reached out to the 18-year-old's agents for "preliminary talks" after tracking the youngster's progress for almost a year.
Such is the reputation Mbappe has built in the early stages of his career, it's suggested Real Madrid are ready to bid a world-record fee for the teenager in excess of £100 million.
The man himself has recently admitted his ambition is to win the UEFA Champions League, too.
"[The Champions League] is a dream, a competition that everyone wants to win and that only a minority can win—the most important are the titles," he told Telefoot (h/t Jack Staplehurst of the Daily Express). "I want to touch the stars and, when you dream, you do not dream of playing the middle of the table or maintaining it."
It means Liverpool would surely be outsiders to sign the prodigy. Mbappe was sensational for Monaco last season, helping the team to the Ligue 1 title and the Champions League semi-finals.
As noted by WhoScored.com, despite his tender years, Mbappe was ruthless when chances fell his way in 2016-17:
Kylian Mbappe: Of players to score more than 10 goals in Ligue 1 last season, only 1 had a better conversion rate than Mbappe (28.8%) https://t.co/PlFBI0uLrW2017-6-6 13:00:03
What was most impressive about his rapid rise was his ability to turn in big performances at crucial moments.
In the early portion of the season, Mbappe was on the fringes of the first team and used sparingly by manager Leonardo Jardim. But as the campaign progressed, he cemented his status as a regular, netting some critical goals in the Ligue 1 run-in and in Champions League knockout ties against Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus.
That blend of exhilarating ability and tremendous temperament has left the football world purring and seemingly triggered some elite sides into life.
Football writer Liam Canning wants to see the youngster stick around at Monaco for another season, though:
Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning
Unless Kylian Mbappé supports Arsenal, which doesn't seem the case, why on earth would he move there this summer? Should stay at Monaco.2017-6-6 07:55:00
Liverpool would be able to tempt Mbappe with various incentives. If the Reds are in the race to sign him, there's no doubt he would be offered lucrative terms. Additionally, he'd be almost certain to start every week, which is not a guarantee at a club like Real Madrid.
Klopp is also a manager any young player should be keen to work under because he has a fantastic track record of improving footballers. Playing in the Premier League would also aid Mbappe's development.
Still, journalist Ste Hoare is unsure whether there's too much truth in the links given their nature:
Ste Hoare @stehoare
Like, we've just literally apologised to a other team on our website. Just doesn't make any sense (2/2).2017-6-11 22:05:15
If Liverpool were to meet Monaco's massive valuation of Mbappe, you sense Madrid would be ready to match any offer. And while the Reds are a huge club moving in the right direction, the forward would surely find it tough to turn down the European champions if they came calling.