Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis have been seen in Nice this week, which has led to talk they’ve travelled for Kylian Mbappe.
There are of course many different explanations for such a meeting in that area, but the popular one picked up by most of the media is that they’re there to formulate their transfer strategy.
Central to that in recent days has been speculation of a swoop for Mbappe, with The Mirror building on that noting that the Cote d’Azur airport in Nice is the nearest location to Monaco and so them being there amid talk of interest in the 18-year-old wonderkid is surely more than a coincidence.
— Damon Milne (@damon84m) June 5, 2017
Mbappe scored 26 goals and provided 14 assists in 44 appearances last season as he led Monaco to the Ligue 1 title and the semi-finals of the Champions League, and interest has been building in him throughout the campaign.
Arsenal have been touted as a possible destination, but as noted by The Sun, Real Madrid could be ready to blow the competition out of the water with a staggering second bid of £118m for the teenager.
The report adds that Manchester United have also been paired with an interest, and in truth, if the numbers being discussed are legitimate, then it’s difficult to see Arsenal competing with these two European giants even though it’s noted that they had an £87m bid rejected last week.
It may also come down to who will be able to give Mbappe the most playing time and a central role in their short term and longer term plans. That’s a box Arsenal certainly tick, whereas Madrid still have a settled front three while United could yet look elsewhere.
In turn, Arsenal are pushing hard for Mbappe it seems and they may well have to be quick about it to steal a march on the competition.