Paris Saint-Germain will reportedly sign AS Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe in a deal that will eventually surpass the £200 million they paid to land Neymar this summer.
According to Duncan Castles of the Sunday Times, the transfer will go through, with the capital club ready to pay an initial £173 million for Mbappe.
"However, a series of performance-related bonuses secured by Monaco from their direct domestic rivals will push Mbappe's fee beyond the £200 million release clause PSG deployed to extract Neymar from Barcelona," Castles wrote.
His report suggested PSG have given Real Madrid "a headache" as the Spanish and European champions believed they had secured the 18-year-old sensation.
The signing of Neymar for a world-record fee represented a major statement from PSG. But if they were able to beat Madrid to the game's hottest young talent, it would arguably be an even more significant acquisition. As relayed by Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC, according to Marca, the French side are desperate to get their man:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
According to @marca today - Madrid have offered Mbappe €7m [after tax] a year, PSG's offer is €18m a year [after tax too].2017-8-12 13:12:59
Although the sums mentioned for a footballer who is still just 18 are stratospheric, Mbappe thrilled so many during the 2016-17 season.
The young striker was a crucial figure in Monaco's Ligue 1 triumph. He progressed from a substitute to a surefire starter, linking up brilliantly with the likes of Radamel Falcao and Bernardo Silva. Mbappe's movement is electric and his finishing belies his tender years.
The potential is there for the youngster to become the world's best player in the future, something PSG and Madrid evidently recognise.
Having lost the title to Monaco last season, it appears the Parisian giants are taking major steps to ensure they are the dominant force in French football for a long time yet.
PSG Want Fabinho
According to Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC, PSG are also keen on Monaco midfielder Fabinho.
His report noted that the Brazilian would cost around €60 million (£55 million) to prise from the Stade Louis II. There are also suggestions that PSG director of football Antero Henrique has been trying to get a deal done for Fabinho since June.
"Sources said Monaco were preparing for the possibility that both he and Mbappe could attempt to force moves if they cannot leave amicably," Johnson wrote. "A Monaco source said that, since last season, Fabinho has had a gentleman's agreement that he would be granted a move if a suitable offer arrived."
While Mbappe brought the attacking incision to Monaco's play last season, Fabinho was the man who knitted things together expertly in the centre of midfield. As noted by Bryan Swanson of Sky Sports News, the club have made it clear they will not entertain offers for the 23-year-old:
Bryan Swanson @skysports_bryan
AS Monaco on Thomas Lemar: "He is staying with us. He is an immense talent and is essential for the team." Fabinho "stays" too. #SSN2017-7-26 13:50:35
Players such as Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Silva and potentially Mbappe are big losses for Monaco. But Fabinho may be the most significant departure if he were to move on; he's arguably the most multifaceted footballer in Leonardo Jardim's squad.
A PSG midfield consisting of Fabinho, Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi would be an ominous prospect for the rest of Ligue 1. And though Mbappe would be a stunning capture, the Brazil international would arguably improve the team most in the short term.