Real Madrid believe they are close to smashing the transfer world record for the 18-year-old France striker Kylian Mbappé, after reportedly reaching the basis of an agreement with Monaco that would see him head to the Santiago Bernabéu for a total fee of €180m (£161m). Monaco, though, have denied that they have agreed to the deal.
The Spanish newspaper Marca reported that Madrid and Monaco had agreed, in principle, a deal worth €160m plus a further €20m in objectives. Although Monaco denied that to the French newspaper Nice Matin, sources at the Spanish club insist they are optimistic that a definitive deal is close. Mbappé would join on a six-year deal worth around €7m a year.
Madrid have raised over €100m in sales this summer, with Álvaro Morata joining Chelsea and Danilo signing for Manchester City, while James Rodríguez has gone to Bayern Munich on loan. If the deal is finalised, it would mean that Monaco, who reached last year’s Champions League semi-final and won the French title, have made more than £300m in transfers. Among the 13 players who have already departed are Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy who joined City for £43.6m and £52m respectively, and Tiemoué Bakayoko, who cost Chelsea £39.7m,
Zinedine Zidane admitted that he was a striker short following Morata’s departure, only to insist the next day that he was not requesting any signings. He did, though, add: “Anything can happen between now and 31 August”.
It is not so much Morata’s departure that made Mbappé a target though; indeed, Morata’s determination to depart was based, in part, on the belief that not only did he have Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema ahead of him but that a move for the Monaco striker would follow. Florentino Pérez, the Madrid president, has made little secret of his liking for the Frenchman.