Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly asked AS Monaco about the availability of star midfielder Fabinho once again.
The Brazilian has been linked with a move in this transfer window and, according to L'Equipe (h/t Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC), the Parisian giants have made numerous enquiries. However, it's suggested that the French champions are not willing to sell the 23-year-old to their domestic rivals:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
Monaco reportedly not keen to sell at all but Fabinho still wants PSG move. He & Jorge Mendes said to have more or less agreed 5-year deal.2017-8-17 07:10:03
After they swaggered to the Ligue 1 title last term, Monaco's star men have been targeted by a number of elite European clubs.
Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva have been bought by Manchester City, while Tiemoue Bakayoko has joined Chelsea. Fabinho is another who has been linked with a possible transfer, with PSG said to be especially keen on him.
As noted by Johnson, with Blaise Matuidi seemingly on his way to Juventus from Paris, it would be no surprise to see the Parc des Princes side step up their interest in the Monaco man:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
Blaise Matuidi out at PSG, so all eyes now on Monaco's Fabinho... #ASM2017-8-16 11:00:18
Fabinho was outstanding for Monaco last season and is arguably the most rounded footballer in what is a gifted squad.
Whether operating at full-back or—as he tends to do more frequently nowadays—in the middle of midfield, he is always a tremendous influence on the team. Fabinho is technically skilled, physical and remarkably consistent in his play; it's no surprise that Monaco are so desperate to keep him on board this summer.
If PSG were able to convince the champions to sell, not only would they fill a major void left by Matuidi, they would be significantly weakening their major domestic rival.
However, you sense it will take an extraordinary amount of money before Monaco even consider letting such an important player depart.
Kylian Mbappe Omission Explained
According to Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, Kylian Mbappe's omission from the starting XI against Dijon on Sunday was not a punishment amid continuing links to PSG.
"We've never been in the habit of punishing our players," the coach said, per L'Equipe (h/t Ian Holyman of ESPN FC). "It's not the right word. It's rather to protect him. With all these things around an 18-year-old kid, it's our responsibility to protect him from the storm. It's a decision of the club."
As noted by Holyman, PSG have been strongly linked with the teenager, as well as Real Madrid and Manchester City.
Mbappe was an unused substitute in the match, although the champions had no problem on the day, with Radamel Falcao netting a hat-trick in a 4-1 win.
Afterwards, Bleacher Report columnist Andy Brassell suggested the young forward isn't the most important cog in the Monaco team:
Andy Brassell @andybrassell
This afternoon more evidence (if it were needed) that Monaco would miss Fabinho far more than Mbappé if both were to go.2017-8-13 16:52:29
The striker is the most exciting, though. Mbappe has extraordinary potential, as he showcased during the final stages of the 2016-17 season. For a footballer still in the nascent stages of his career, his movement, intelligence and composure in front of goal is sensational.
PSG appear to be the favourites to land the youngster and after securing Neymar from Barcelona already, it's clear the club mean business in the transfer window.
If they were to broker a deal for Mbappe, it would be another seismic statement made by the Parc des Princes outfit.